All Ages

The Best Children’s and YA Books of May 2019

by the Brightly Editors

School’s (almost) out for summer, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to stock up on those summer reading stacks! From picture books great for whiling away road trips to dynamite middle grade chapter books and YA reads both spellbinding and profound, May’s best new book releases are a total treat for readers of all ages.

  • YA

  • Aurora Rising

    by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

    Tyler Jones’s squad of misfit space cadets isn’t exactly who you’d want handling a galaxy-wide war that’s a million years in the making, but we don’t always get our first picks (as Tyler knows too well). But the squad got themselves into this mess when they rescued Auri, a girl who’s been stuck in cryo-sleep for two decades, and they’re not about to give up on her now.
    (On Sale: 5/7/19)

  • Her Royal Highness

    by Rachel Hawkins

    Houston-born Millie Quint has a few reasons for applying to a Scottish boarding school, not the least of which is that her BFF/kind-of girlfriend kissed another girl. But it’s tough to eschew drama completely when your new roommate is a totally spoiled and actual Scottish princess — who happens to be crushing right back on Millie.
    (On Sale: 5/7/19)

  • How It Feels to Float

    by Helena Fox

    With exquisite tenderness, debut novelist Helena Fox offers a moving story about loss, mental illness, and sexual identity through an unforgettable heroine. Biz has a solid support group, including her father, who she speaks to regularly — and who died when she was seven. She feels like she’s barely floating by, unwilling to share her darkest thoughts, but her journey to healing is ultimately a hopeful one.
    (On Sale: 5/7/19)

  • The Things She’s Seen

    by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

    Part ghost story, part thriller, The Things She’s Seen centers around two Australian Aboriginal girls: one dead, one witness to an unspeakable crime. After her death, Beth Teller keeps communicating with her detective father and leads him to a mystery in a remote Australian town. There he meets Isobel Catching, the witness who speaks only in riddles, and the three unravel a devastating story.
    (On Sale: 5/14/19)

  • Girl Gone Viral

    by Arvin Ahmadi

    Seventeen-year-old Opal Hooper is a coding prodigy, but the one thing she can’t code into existence is her dad, who disappeared seven years ago. When the world’s biggest virtual reality company sponsors a contest, Opal is quick to enter. The winner gets to meet the founder, who worked closely with Opal’s dad — and who might know something about that fateful day. Just how far is Opal willing to go?
    (On Sale: 5/21/19)

  • These Witches Don’t Burn

    by Isabel Sterling

    Full of high stakes both magical and romantic, Isabel Sterling’s debut novel is sure to be a hit with YA readers. In Salem, Massachusetts, Hannah is careful to keep her powers a secret. She’s an Elemental witch — as is her ex-girlfriend, Veronica. But when a Blood Witch shows up in town, Hannah and Veronica will have to join forces to protect their coven and community.
    (On Sale: 5/28/19)