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All Ages

The Best Children’s and YA Books of June 2021

by the Brightly Editors

best-kids-books-june-2021

With warm weather rolling in, school letting out, and pandemic restrictions starting to lift, good vibes are in the air! Along with these much-needed milestones comes a collection of excellent books to read with your kids. Whether you’re looking for interactive board books for a busy toddler or a riveting novel for a tween, these books are the perfect pairing for the first days of summer.

  • Picture Books

  • Bodies Are Cool

    by Tyler Feder

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    Bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors—and they’re all amazing! This body-positive picture book from the creator of Dancing at the Pity Party celebrates the human body and everything it can do. If you’re on the hunt for a book to boost confidence, add this one to your reading list!
    (On sale: 6/1/2021)

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  • Areli Is a Dreamer

    by Areli Morales, illustrated by Luisa Uribe

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    Kids that like true stories will love this book about the author’s experience as a DACA Dreamer. When she was young, Areli’s parents brought her from Mexico to the United States. At first, living in a new country and learning a new language was difficult, but Areli adjusted to life in America and grew to love her new home.
    (On sale: 6/8/2021)

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  • The Bench

    by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, illustrated by Christian Robinson

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    We’ve been waiting impatiently for the publication of Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex’s first picture book. A love letter to the special bond between a father and son, this book will be cherished by everyone who reads it. A heartfelt message and soft watercolor illustrations make it the perfect Father’s Day gift.
    (On sale: 6/8/2021)

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  • What Is God Like?

    by Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by Ying Hui Tan

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    Sometimes, kids ask questions that you don’t know how to answer. In those instances, it’s helpful to have a good book on hand that explains concepts in a way that children can comprehend. What Is God Like? gives curious little ones a warm, safe, and loving perspective on who God is and what He’s like.
    (On sale: 6/15/2021)

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  • Theo TheSaurus

    by Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Mike Moran

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    Word nerds everywhere are falling in love with this goofy and informative picture book. Theo TheSaurus is a little dino with a big vocabulary. But when his use of strange words confuses his friends, everyone will have to learn good communication skills. This brightly illustrated book comes with plenty of laughs and a glossary in the back.
    (On sale: 6/15/2021)

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  • Becoming Vanessa

    by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

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    When Vanessa attracts the wrong kind of attention on her first day of school, she decides she wants to blend in. But with the help of her mother, she learns how important it is to show up as yourself every day. This beautiful story about family, fitting in, and the meanings of names teaches young children to accept themselves and others just the way they are.
    (On sale: 6/15/2021)

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  • Those Are Not My Underpants!

    by Melissa Martin, illustrated by Troy Cummings

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    When Bear Cub finds a pair of underpants with no owner, he starts asking around. Kids will be in stitches as Bear Cub works his way through the forest animals, looking for someone to claim the undies. Humor and a surprise ending will make this picture book a favorite of children everywhere.
    (On sale: 6/15/2021)

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  • Indelible Ann

    by Meghan P. Browne, illustrated by Carlynn Whitt

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    Introduce your young reader to Dorothy Ann Willis with this folksy and informative picture book biography. Ann lived in a small town and had a big personality. She embraced her ferocity and went into politics, where she eventually became the governor of Texas and an inspiration to female politicians everywhere.
    (On sale: 6/22/2021)

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  • Llama Llama Seasons of Fun!: A Push-and-Pull Book

    by Anna Dewdney, illustrated by JT Morrow

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    Young readers who can’t get enough of their favorite llama will adore this interactive board book. Push and pull the slides on each page to explore the four seasons with Llama and his friends. It’s perfect for busy toddlers!
    (On sale: 6/29/2021)

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  • How to Be Kind in Kindergarten

    by D.J. Steinberg, illustrated by Ruth Hammond

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    Rising kindergarteners will love this delightful companion to Kindergarten, Here I Come! From the first day of kindergarten to the last, readers will learn how to be kind during their first year of “real” school. With a poem on each page, this book is both fun to read and an excellent primer in kindness.
    (On sale: 6/29/2021)

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  • Chapter Books & Middle Grade

  • The Pack

    by Lisi Harrison

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    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Clique comes a must-read middle school adventure. As the new kid at a private school for girls with animal powers, Sadie hopes to avoid drawing attention to herself. But that becomes impossible when she discovers that she’s the most powerful girl at school. Suddenly, Sadie finds herself in the popular group — juggling friendship drama, her first crush, and a mysterious threat against the school.
    (On sale: 6/1/2021)

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  • Ham Helsing #1: Vampire Hunter

    by Rich Moyer

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    If the title of this book made you laugh, you’re going to love the rest of it. Join Ham Helsing as he embarks on a madcap monster hunt in this graphic novel for kids. Fast-paced, action-packed, and hilarious, it will keep kids reading and laughing from cover to cover.
    (On sale: 6/1/2021)

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  • The Cardboard Kingdom #2: Roar of the Beast

    by Chad Sell

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    Return to the Cardboard Kingdom in the second adventure starring your favorite characters. When a monster gets spotted in the kingdom, the Monster Mashers must work together to find out what it is, how it got in, and how to defeat it. Imagination, creativity, and friendship make this graphic novel a must-read for fans of Raina Telgemeier.
    (On sale: 6/1/2021)

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  • Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom

    by Sangu Mandanna

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    A girl with a pencil, a magic sketchbook, Indian mythology, and an angry god determined to destroy the world combine into an adventure that kids can’t resist! If your child loves Aru Shah or Percy Jackson, add this exciting fantasy novel to their summer reading stack. The action-packed quest will keep them happily turning pages for days.
    (On sale: 6/6/2021)

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  • Rez Dogs

    by Joseph Bruchac

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    The pandemic was hard on everyone, and kids need to read stories about how other children got through it. This heartfelt novel in verse is about a girl named Malian whose visit to the reservation gets extended indefinitely when the pandemic hits. While she’s there, she learns what it means to be part of a family, community, and culture.
    (On sale: 6/8/2021)

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  • Kitty Quest

    by Phil Corbett

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    Cat crazy kids will go nuts over this hilarious graphic novel! In a badly-hatched get-rich-quick scheme, kittens Woolfrik and Perigold start a monster-hunting business. But when an actual monster shows up, the unprepared kittens and their non-existent monster-hunting skills get thrown into the action. It’s perfect for fans of Dog Man and Max and the Midknights!
    (On sale: 6/15/2021)

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  • Grumpy Monkey Freshly Squeezed

    by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang

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    Introduce your child to the wonderful world of chapter books with their favorite curmudgeon! Jim Panzee has his own early graphic novel for growing readers. They’ll love reading this brand new story about Jim getting anxious, accidentally destroying his stress orange, and trying to find a new one.
    (On sale: 6/29/2021)

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  • YA

  • We Are Inevitable

    by Gayle Forman

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    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay comes a new story about first love, books, and music. Aaron Stein’s life seems to be crumbling around him, but when he’s ready to throw in the towel, his small mountain community rallies around him in unexpected ways. This beautiful novel is the uplifting and feel-good story we all need right now.
    (On sale: 6/1/2021)

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  • Heartbreakers and Fakers

    by Cameron Lund

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    If you’re in the mood for a fake-dating rom-com with major summer vibes, pick up Heartbreakers and Fakers. When Penny kisses her best friend’s boyfriend, Jordan, her perfect life falls apart. Her boyfriend dumps her and seeks comfort in her now ex-best friend. Penny and Jordan start dating to convince everyone they have feelings for each other and hopefully win their exes back. But when the fake relationship begins to feel real, Penny will have to decide what (and who) she wants.
    (On sale: 6/8/2021)

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  • Instructions for Dancing

    by Nicola Yoon

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    If you loved Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, then don’t miss #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon’s newest YA novel. Evie has the unusual ability to see how a relationship will end. As a result, she’s sworn off love for good. But when she starts to fall for her dance partner, X, she’s faced with an impossible decision—keep her heart safe, or risk it all and let herself fall in love.
    (On sale: 6/1/2021)

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  • That Weekend

    by Kara Thomas

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    A secret weekend getaway turns deadly for three teenage friends in this suspenseful YA mystery from the author of The Cheerleaders. Claire’s two best friends are missing, and she can’t remember what happened or why she’s covered in blood. Now, she’s alone on a mountain, trying to piece her memory back together and figure out what went wrong. Secrets and plot twists will keep you reading well past your bedtime!
    (On sale: 6/29/2021)

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