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The Best Children’s and YA Books of May 2018

by the Brightly Editors

With bright flowers, blooming trees, and plenty of new reads, the month of May is certainly the bee’s knees! From a beloved llama learning to read to a fractured fairy tale about a very grumpy dwarf to a deeply haunting YA story, there are so many new stories to dive into this month. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite children’s and teen books of May.

  • Middle Grade

  • Bob

    by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, illustrated by Nicholas Gannon

    Bestselling authors Mass and Stead team up with illustrator Gannon to depict this charming story of a tween girl, Livy, who visits her grandmother for the first time in five years and reunites with Bob, the loyal, magical creature who wears a chicken costume and lives in her grandmother’s closet. Livy once made a long-forgotten promise to help Bob find his way home and this time around she’s determined to fulfill his wish.
    (On Sale: 5/1/18)

  • The Length of a String

    by Elissa Brent Weissman

    Also available from:

    This heartwarming novel centers on Imani, a young black girl who was adopted into a Jewish American family. Imani longs to search for her birth parents and find out where she came from, but when she uncovers her great-grandmother’s diary from 1941, she begins to see her family and her place in their lives in a new light.
    (On Sale: 5/1/18)

    Also available from:
  • Out of Left Field

    by Ellen Klages

    Also available from:

    It’s 1957 and all the boys on the sandlot know Katy is the best pitcher around, but that doesn’t mean Little League will let her play. Armed with a wealth of information about women in baseball, she sets out to convince Little League that baseball hasn’t always just been for boys. Both informative and inspirational, Katy’s fight is an empowering story about speaking out against injustice.
    (On Sale: 5/1/18)

    Also available from:
  • Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

    by Liesl Shurtliff

    Also available from:

    Once again, New York Times-bestselling author Liesl Shurtliff takes a familiar fairy tale and gives it an irresistible twist. Grump is different from other dwarves, longing to explore The Surface rather than dig deeper into the ground. When a trip above ground goes awry, adventure ensues in this hilarious and heartfelt take on “Snow White.”
    (On Sale: 5/29/18)

    Also available from:
  • YA

  • The Way You Make Me Feel

    by Maurene Goo

    When prank-loving Clara gets in a fight with her classmate Rose at prom, they’re both forced to spend their summer working together in Clara’s father’s food truck. YA readers will find themselves rooting for Clara as she navigates the unlikely pairing and begins to discover who she really wants to be in this super entertaining tale of friendship, family, and food.
    (On Sale: 5/8/18)

  • The Gone Away Place

    by Christopher Barzak

    Also available from:

    Stonewall Honor author Christopher Barzak tugs at our heartstrings with this breathtaking novel about love and loss. The story follows a girl named Ellie, who suffered tremendous loss after a series of powerful tornadoes touched down in her town. When Ellie begins to see the ghosts of her loved ones, she discovers a way to set their souls free once and for all.
    (On Sale: 5/15/18)

    Also available from:
  • My So-Called Bollywood Life

    by Nisha Sharma

    Also available from:

    Winnie Mehta is convinced that Raj is the one … until she returns from film camp and abruptly discovers he spent the whole summer with Jenny Dickens. As she reconsiders what she once thought was destiny, she grows closer to her old friend Dev. A delightful debut novel, My So-Called Bollywood Life is packed with humor, drama, and swoon-worthy romance.
    (On Sale: 5/15/18)

    Also available from:
  • We Are All That’s Left

    by Carrie Arcos

    Also available from:

    As a refugee of the Bosnian War, Nadja’s past has left her emotionally distant from her daughter Zara. When a terrorist attack in present-day New England leaves Nadja in a coma, Zara feels pressed to better understand her family history. A timely and deeply compelling novel about faith, history, and hope.
    (On Sale: 5/15/18)

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  • Lies You Never Told Me

    by Jennifer Donaldson

    Also available from:

    This thrilling page-turner is filled with twists and turns that will keep you up all night. It follows the intertwined lives of two teenagers, Gabe and Elyse, both of whom fall for the wrong person, keep secrets, and make choices that reap deadly consequences.
    (On Sale: 5/22/18)

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  • Aftermath

    by Kelley Armstrong

    Skye returns to her hometown three years after a deadly school shooting — in which her brother was a shooter. Her former best friend and crush Jesse lost his own brother that day and is unsure of how to deal with Skye’s return. When Skye receives threatening notes, she grows frightned that more violence is to come. A thoughtful, poignant, page-turning portrayal of the aftermath of tragedy.
    (On Sale: 5/22/18)