All Ages

The Best Children’s and YA Books of July 2019

by the Brightly Editors

July brings new installments of old favorites, including a book in Mercer Mayer’s Little Critters series, a Ben Franklin-starring Magic Tree House story, and the latest in the Who Was? series. From a picture book about sharing to a young adult book that spans multiple generations, there’s something for everyone in our round up of the best books of the month. These stories are sure to keep you and your family engaged during the long summer days ahead.

  • Picture Books

  • Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!

    by Cori Doerrfeld

    Change can be difficult, but in Cori Doerrfeld’s newest picture book, she shows children that when one door closes, another opens. Two friends say goodbye and hello to the changing seasons — and then one friend moves away, and they must say goodbye to each other. Doerrfeld’s books always manage to be sweet and uplifting without minimizing difficult feelings.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • Just a Bad Day

    by Mercer Mayer

    Every child (and adult!) has them: those days that just seem to be no good from the get-go. Little Critter is having one of those days, helped in large part by the rainy, no-good weather that’s keeping her cooped up inside. This Little Golden Book reminds readers that even bad days can have happy endings.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • I Am He-Man!

    by Frank Berrios, illustrated by Shane Clester

    The classic ‘80s superhero is here to awe the 2- to 5-year-old crowd in an action-packed Little Golden Book. Hailing from the land of Eternia, He-Man is the Most Powerful Man in the Universe. Still, even the strongest hero needs the help of friends if he’s going to beat the evil wizard Skeletor.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • The King of Kindergarten

    by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantly-Newton

    It’s the first day of school, and one little boy’s mother tells him he’ll be the King of Kindergarten! With a pep in his step, the boy approaches the day with confidence and joy, making new friends and remembering it all to share with his parents. Perfect for all incoming kindergarteners, but especially reluctant ones.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • Preschool, Here I Come!

    by D.J. Steinberg, illustrated by John Joven

    Upcoming preschoolers can also prepare for the school year with this collection of funny and cheerful poems that celebrate all the milestones of the first year of school. Complete with vibrant and gleeful illustrations, it will have little readers eager for that big first day.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • I’m Trying to Love Math

    by Bethany Barton

    In this inviting and fact-filled book, Bethany Barton invites readers to think about math differently by considering its myriad, outside-the-classroom uses: We use math to get to the moon, to make music, to bake delicious treats, and more. It’s a great addition to your STEM reading material, made even more enjoyable by Barton’s whimsical illustrations.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • The Night Is Yours

    by Abdul-Razak Zachariah, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

    The Night is Yours is narrated by a father to his daughter, Amani, as she and her friends wind down the day with an evening game of hide-and-seek. The light of the moon not only helps Amani find her friends but also highlights her beauty and spirit. An ode to friendship, family, and self-love, this one’s sure to be a family favorite.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • Just for Me

    by Jennifer Hansen Rolli

    Young Ruby has a favorite phrase: “Just for me!” After all, her favorite doll usually is just for her to enjoy. But when a friend comes over for a playdate and Ruby’s catchphrase results in a broken toy, Ruby learns that “Just for us!” is a much more fun and inclusive way to play.
    (On Sale: 7/23/19)

  • Stop! Bot!

    by James Yang

    A simple concept gets increasingly silly in this rollicking picture book by the author of Bus! Stop!. A boy is out for a walk when his bot floats away and up the side of a building. The doorman runs from floor to floor trying to catch the bot with the help of residents — who get quirkier and quirkier the higher he goes. Just wait for the rooftop surprise!
    (On Sale: 7/23/19)

  • YA

  • We Walked the Sky

    by Lisa Fielder

    In this multigenerational novel, two teenagers learn how to start over. In present day, 16-year-old Callie has only ever known life in the VanDrexel Family Circus, but when her mother takes a job in Florida, Callie has to navigate a wilder environment: public high school. In 1965, Callie’s grandmother, Victoria, is a 17-year-old runaway who joins the VanDrexel circus. Across history, the two young women do their best to carry on through tumultuous times.
    (On Sale: 7/2/19)

  • Spin the Dawn

    by Elizabeth Lim

    Maia Tamarin is the daughter of a once-famous tailor, who — as a girl — has no hopes of following in her father’s footsteps. But when her ailing father is summoned to court, Maia poses as a boy to take his place. To win the role of imperial tailor, Maia must create a gown from the sun, the moon, and the stars. An epic tale of magic and romance, it hits all the right notes and then some.
    (On Sale: 7/9/19)

  • Wilder Girls

    by Rory Power

    With its bold themes, expect Wilder Girls to be one of the most talked-about books of the summer. The story is set at an all girls’ island boarding school, which has been under quarantine ever since the deadly Tox swept across the island, taking all of the teachers and several students with it. When her friend goes missing, Hetty risks everything to search beyond the quarantine — and finds so much more than she anticipated.
    (On Sale: 7/9/19)

  • Penguin Minis: Matched

    by Ally Condie

    Ally Condie’s bestselling Matched series is now available as a Penguin Mini, pocket-sized reading perfect for busy lifestyles. Cassia is a member of the Society, where no one has to expend any mental energy over pesky decision-making: Officials decide where residents work, when they die, and even who they love. Cassia’s best friend appears on the Matching screen as her mate, but then another face appears, and she’ll have to decide which life she wants.
    (On Sale: 7/23/19)