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The Best Children’s and YA Books of February 2021

by the Brightly Editors

best-kids-books-feb-2021

February brought some phenomenal children’s and YA stories to bookstore shelves. Whether you have small children or teenagers, you’ll find books on this list to enjoy. Fall in love with a heartfelt story from your favorite creators, dive back into a beloved series, or get lost in a memorable novel. From poignant picture books to exciting middle grade and young adult novels, here are the must-read books of the month.

  • Picture Books

  • Milo Imagines the World

    by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

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    Milo is taking a long bus ride with his sister. Along the way, he examines his fellow passengers and imagines elaborate scenarios about them—getting married, going home to pets, and living in castles. But when one of the passengers gets off at Milo’s stop, all of his assumptions are proven wrong. From the creators of the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book, Last Stop on Market Street and Carmela Full of Wishes comes another poignant and timely picture book you won’t be able to resist.
    (On sale: 2/2/2021)

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  • Goodnight Astronaut

    by Scott Kelly, illustrated by Izzy Burton

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    It’s time to turn out the lights and say goodnight, but where are the astronauts? They might be pulling up the covers at the bottom of the ocean or in outer space. From fighter jets to mountain tops, kids will love this story by real-life astronaut Scott Kelly about the unusual places he’s slept.
    (On sale: 2/2/2021)

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  • Strong as Stone

    by Christopher Browne

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    Take a trip back to prehistoric times with Stone, a little girl who loves her dad. When he falls ill, Stone is the only person in her village brave enough to travel into the mountains and find the cure. Even though the journey is full of danger, her courage and kindness help her succeed.
    (On sale: 2/2/2021)

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  • What’s Inside a Flower?

    by Rachel Ignotofsky

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    Feed your child’s curiosity with this stunning picture book from the creator of the New York Times bestseller Women in Science. Readers will jump into the world of flowers and learn how they grow, from seed to blossom, and every step in between. The beginning of a new nonfiction series of picture books, it’s perfect for young scientists!
    (On sale: 2/2/2021)

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  • Rectangle Time

    by Pamela Paul, illustrated by Becky Cameron

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    Kids that love books will adore this sweet and funny story told from a cat’s point of view. Storytime is the cat’s favorite time of day, and he generously helps out in every way he can. But as the boy grows older and storytime changes, the cat will have to figure out how he fits into the ritual.
    (On sale: 2/16/2021)

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  • My First Day

    by Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huỳnh Kim Liên

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    A young Vietnamese boy named An takes his wooden boat and heads to school. This book takes readers on a whimsical and adventure-filled journey through the Mekong Delta. The gorgeous artwork will capture the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike!
    (On sale: 2/16/2021)

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  • YA

  • This Is Not the Jess Show

    by Anna Carey

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    Remember The Truman Show? This nostalgic thriller will give you a blast from the past while taking you on an adrenaline-filled ride. When Jess’s friend drops a futuristic object with an apple logo on it, she starts to suspect that her life is not what it seems. Suddenly, she isn’t sure if her life, and everyone in it, is real or if they’re all actors in a show—and she’s the unwilling star.
    (On sale: 2/2/2021)

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  • The Gilded Ones

    by Namina Forna

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    If you loved Children of Blood and Bone, add this book to your “to-read” list. When Deka is labeled impure at a village ceremony, she faces a death sentence. To escape her terrible fate, Deka joins a group of near-immortal female warriors with unique abilities. She travels to the capital to fight on behalf of the emperor, but more surprises await her there. This fast-paced fantasy will keep you reading well past your bedtime!
    (On sale: 2/9/2021)

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  • The Wide Starlight

    by Nicole Lesperance

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    When you’re in the mood for a dreamy novel that will make you believe that magic still exists in the world, reach for The Wide Starlight. Ten years after her mother disappears into the Northern Lights, Eline can’t resist the rare opportunity to bring her back. She succeeds, with some unintended consequences. Legends, fairy tales, adventure, and magic make this an unputdownable story that YA lovers will obsess over.
    (On sale: 2/16/2021)

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  • Like Home

    by Louisa Onomé

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    Nelo’s beloved neighborhood comes under national scrutiny when vandals attack the store her best friend’s parents own. With media and police promising to “fix” the area, and her best friend pushing her away, Nelo must figure out how to save the place she calls home.
    (On sale: 2/23/2021)

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  • The Desolations of Devil’s Acre

    by Ransom Riggs

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    Don’t miss the conclusion to the #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series! In a fitting twist of fate, Jacob and Noor find themselves back in Grandpa’s house with no memory of how they got there. Join your favorite characters as they reunite for a final, epic adventure that will leave you breathless.
    (On sale: 2/23/2021)

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