Growing Reader



The Best Children’s and YA Books of July 2018

by the Brightly Editors

July is jam-packed with amazing new picture books, middle grade reads, and YA novels. We’ve rounded up the most exciting releases, which include historical fiction, hands-on reads, teen thrillers, a fairy tale retelling, and much more. Here are our top recommendations for young readers to explore this month:

  • Picture Books

  • Mixed: A Colorful Story

    by Arree Chung

    There were once three colors: Reds, Yellows, and Blues. Then one day Reds declares themselves the best and pit each color against the other. That is until two colors fall in love and mix to create something totally new! A powerful message about diversity and acceptance packed into a simple picture book about colors.
    (On Sale: 7/3/18)

  • All Are Welcome

    by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

    Alexandra Penfold’s All Are Welcome follows a group of children through a day in their school, which is a happy place where everyone plays together, regardless of their background. Whether they wear patkas, hijabs, or yarmulkes, all of the children and their traditions are respected in this school, reminding readers that no matter our differences, everyone should have a safe place to learn and grow.
    (On Sale: 7/10/18)

  • Never Satisfied: The Story of the Stonecutter

    by Dave Horowitz

    In this modern retelling of a Japanese folktale, Stanley the frog is a stonecutter who wishes to be a businessman. Magically, that’s what he becomes! Then he wishes to be a king, the sun, and the wind. Each time he becomes more powerful. Until he wishes to be the strongest thing he can think of — a stone — and finds that his happiness is short-lived. Bright and bold illustrations add to the hilarity of this familiar be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale.
    (On Sale: 7/17/18)

  • How to Measure Everything

    by DK

    With a bright, colorful layout and simple descriptions, this accessible guide walks young readers through the concepts of length, weight, volume, time, and temperature, and how each can be measured. How to Measure Everything is an accessible and engaging introduction to an everyday math skill.
    (On Sale: 7/31/18)

  • Middle Grade

  • The Door to the Lost

    by Jaleigh Johnson

    The same day magic died in Talhaven, a skyship full of magical children arrived. Without warning, Rook and Drift, two of the children on board the ship, became refugees. On the run with no memory of home, the two friends struggle to make sense of the world around them — a world that doesn’t trust magic but needs their help. The Door to the Lost is a beautiful examination of ignorance and humanity in a fantastical place that’s reminiscent of our own.
    (On Sale: 7/3/18)

  • Star Wars Maker Lab

    by Liz Lee Heinecke and Cole Horton

    Another installment of the award-winning Maker Lab series, this new book sparks creativity and develops Star Wars fans’ skills in the arts and sciences through hands-on learning and fun. Make your own Death Star with a working tractor beam, build an Ewok catapult, and mix your own trail of slime just like Jabba the Hutt — lots of out-of-this-world fun, all with everyday household items!
    (On Sale: 7/3/18)

  • Mightier Than the Sword

    by Drew Callander and Alana Harrison, illustrated by Ryan Andrews

    This interactive, playful book calls upon the reader to bring the land of Astorya to life. As the reader, you are a superhero in this fictional world. Armed with your handy-dandy pencil, you have the power to control your own story! You must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure to rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette.
    (On Sale: 7/10/18)

  • My Year in the Middle

    by Lila Quintero Weaver

    Sixth-grader Lu Olivera loves running track and she wants to become better friends with her teammate Belinda. But Lu is Argentinian American, Belinda is African American, and they live in 1970 Red Grove, Alabama — a place where the school segregates black and white students, and places students like Lu, “middle-rowers,” in between. As Lu begins to explore the implications of segregation in her classroom and community, a vicious gubernatorial election grows tensions throughout Alabama. An eye-opening yet compassionate work of historical fiction for middle grade readers.
    (On Sale: 7/10/18)

  • YA

  • Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It

    by Kerry Winfrey

    Jolie has mandibular prognathism, which is the medical term for an underbite. All her life, she’s felt self-conscious about it, so when the opportunity comes along to have corrective surgery, Jolie can’t wait. There’s one problem, though: She’s really, really scared something will go wrong in the surgery and she’ll die. With the help of her best friends, Jolie makes a list called “Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It (Which Is Super Unlikely, but Still, It Could Happen).” Filled with humor and compassion, this book is an honest look at the impact of beauty standards today.
    (On Sale: 7/10/18)

  • I Am Still Alive

    by Kate Alice Marshall

    Jess is 16 years old and still reeling from the unexpected death of her mother when she’s sent to live with her dad in his remote cabin. Then her father is murdered and she suddenly finds herself completely stranded, with only her father’s dog for company. Can she survive all that the harsh, cold Canadian wilderness throws at her? Will she track down her father’s killer? Once you pick up this riveting survival story, you won’t be able to put it down.
    (On Sale: 7/24/18)

  • The Cheerleaders

    by Kara Thomas

    Monica’s sister was one of five cheerleaders that died in quick succession, all under mysterious circumstances. Five years later, Monica is finally ready to find out what really happened to those girls. Will she find that some secrets are best left buried? Dubbed the Queen of Suspense, Kara Thomas expertly weaves together mystery and drama for a story so heart-pounding and full of twists you’ll be guessing until the very end.
    (On Sale: 7/31/18)