The Best Children’s and YA Books of November 2021

by the Brightly Editors

Cooler temperatures and shorter days have arrived, which means it’s reading weather! This month, you’ll find giggle-worthy picture books, inspiring middle grade novels, and irresistible YA books. Whether you’re looking for stories to cozy up with or you’re hunting for holiday gifts, you’ll love the books on this list.

  • Chapter Books & Middle Grade

  • Stuck

    by Jennifer Swender

    Available from:

    Austin is socially awkward. He can’t read, and he’s the new kid at school (again). He expects this school to be the same as the rest he’s attended, but when he meets an energetic new friend who refuses to let him go unnoticed, Austin finally gets the help he needs. This beautifully written story is a must-read for fans of Wonder and Fish in a Tree.

    Also available from:
  • The Circus of Stolen Dreams

    by Lorelei Savaryn

    Available from:

    Get your fill of thrills and chills with this spooky story, now in paperback! A missing brother, stolen memories, and a world of dreams combine into an unputdownable book that kids will love. If your child likes creepy stories that keep them up late, add this one to their reading stack.

    Also available from:
  • J.D. and the Hair Show Showdown

    by J. Dillard, illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts

    Available from:

    J.D. the Kid Barber is back in his latest haircutting adventure. A successful hairstylist and business owner at eight years old, it’s no wonder that J.D. gets invited to attend a high-profile hair expo. Between collecting swag and meeting celebrities, J.D. gets the inspiration he needs to take his business to the next level.

    Also available from:
  • She Persisted: Maria Tallchief

    She Persisted: Maria Tallchief

    by Christine Day and Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint

    Any reader interested in ballet or history will love this chapter book about America’s first prima ballerina. Although she faced many obstacles along the road to success, Maria Tallchief persevered and achieved her dreams. Her story will inspire young readers to reach for the stars, work hard, and stay true to themselves.

    (On sale: )

  • YA

  • Skin of the Sea

    by Natasha Bowen

    Available from:

    A West African mythology-inspired retelling of The Little Mermaid? Yes, please! Fantasy lovers craving a new adventure will obsess over this breathtaking story about a mermaid who saves a human from drowning. To escape the terrible punishment for her heroic deed, she must either appease or defeat the gods.

    Also available from:
  • Between Shades of Gray: The Graphic Novel

    by Ruta Sepetys, illustrated by Dave Kopka, adapted by Andrew Donkin with Brann Livesay and Chris Dickey

    Available from:

    If you love the modern classic about a teenage girl trying to reunite her family in the Soviet Union in 1941, you’ll want to read the graphic novel adaptation. This gorgeously illustrated book shows readers how courage can carry you through terrible circumstances. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original novel.

    Also available from:
  • Huda F Are You?

    by Huda Fahmy

    Available from:

    YA readers will love this charming and funny graphic novel about a girl discovering herself. When her family moves to Michigan, Huda goes from being the only girl at school wearing a hijab to one of many. Now, she doesn’t know where she fits in, and figuring it out is a complex and often hilarious process.

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