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The Best Children’s and YA Books of October 2021

by the Brightly Editors

best-kids-books-oct-21

Between the yummy pumpkin-flavored treats, vibrant colors, and incredible new book releases, it’s no wonder that fall is the best time of the year! Whether you’re in the market for a gorgeous new picture book or a novel to keep your tween or teen busy for a few hours, there are plenty of titles to fit your needs. So, sit back with a pumpkin spice latte and meet the best new children’s and YA books of the month!

  • Picture Books

  • Grandude's Green Submarine

    by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst

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    Kids that loved Paul McCartney’s first picture book, Hey, Grandude, won’t want to miss the follow-up adventure. This time, Grandude and the kids pile into his green submarine and strike out on an all-new excursion. But soon, they find themselves in a heap of trouble and need some help from Nandude to get out. This book has just as much fun, music, and humor as the first one.
    (On sale: 10/5/2021)

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  • I am Oprah Winfrey

    by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

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    Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential people of our time, and this book is an excellent way to introduce her to your children. You’ll learn about Oprah’s childhood, influences, and unique approach to television that made her a household name. Aspiring television stars and children who want to make the world better will love this inspiring book.
    (On sale: 10/19/2021)

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  • Return of the Underwear Dragon

    by Scott Rothman, illustrated by Pete Oswald

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    Any story about underwear will get chuckles out of your kids. In this silly sequel to Attack of the Underwear Dragon, Sir Cole embarks on a quest to teach the dragon to read. After a series of challenges and small fires, the dragon learns his letters and earns an exciting pair of undies as a reward. Children will be in stitches as they read about the unlikely duo and their bookish adventures.
    (On sale: 10/26/2021)

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  • Gladys the Magic Chicken

    by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Adam Rex

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    Who says chickens can’t be magical? Everyone who meets the plucky chicken named Gladys thinks she’s better than a genie from a magic lamp. As people wish on Gladys and those wishes come true, the hen gets whisked away on an incredible adventure. Bursting with laugh-out-loud moments and plenty of cluck, this hilarious book from the author of Dragons Love Tacos is a must-read!
    (On sale: 10/26/2021)

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  • Better Together!

    by Amy Robach and Andrew Shue, illustrated by Lenny Wen

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    Living in close quarters with other people always presents unique challenges. So, when a family of squirrels and a family of chipmunks find themselves squished together in a hollow tree after a storm, it doesn’t take long for them to get on each other’s nerves. But as the furry critters learn to compromise and set boundaries, they discover that having a larger family comes with unexpected benefits.
    (On sale: 10/26/2021)

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  • The Real Santa

    by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

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    The author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling picture book The Bedtime Bonnet returns with another beautiful story for children. On Christmas Eve, a young boy wonders what Santa looks like. Does he have an enormous belly or a fluffy white beard? Does he ride in a sleigh? This cheerful Christmas tale makes a fantastic addition to your holiday reading stack.
    (On sale: 10/26/2021)

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  • Chapter Books & Middle Grade

  • Children of the Fox

    by Kevin Sands

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    A group of young criminals, magic, and the ultimate challenge combine in this fast-paced adventure. Five kids with superhuman abilities come together to pull off an impossible heist. To succeed, they must learn to trust each other and work as a team to take on a powerful group of sorcerers. Kids that love Artemis Fowl will get hooked on the first page of this thrilling series opener.
    (On sale: 10/5/2021)

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  • Long Road to the Circus

    by Betsy Bird, illustrated by David Small

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    Get ready to laugh and cheer your way to the finish line with this hilarious and thought-provoking historical novel. It’s about a girl named Suzy Bowles who dreams of life outside her small town. When she meets a local circus performer and learns how to ride ostriches, she realizes her dreams are within reach.
    (On sale: 10/5/2021)

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  • The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

    by Jonathan Stroud

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    If your kids love all the heist action and anti-heroes populating middle grade books lately, they’re in luck. This adventure novel is perfect for kids who obsess over stories about criminals, secrets, monsters, and conspiracies. Set in a futuristic Britain that will feel familiar and new simultaneously, this story features two young criminals who team up to evade their pursuers. Kids won’t be able to set it down!
    (On sale: 10/5/2021)

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  • She Persisted: Margaret Chase Smith

    by Ruby Shamir and Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint

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    Fans of Hidden Figures will love this biography of another woman involved with the space program—Margaret Chase. Even though Margaret didn’t work at NASA, her position in Congress allowed her to support the program in other ways. She also worked hard to give women more opportunities to succeed in the workplace and politics.
    (On sale: 10/5/2021)

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  • Clarice the Brave

    by Lisa McMann

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    Kids who enjoy animal stories will want to read this novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series. It’s about a little mouse named Clarice who gets separated from her brother Charles Sebastian during a mutiny on the ship where they live. The mice must use their wits, courage, and survival instincts to find each other again.
    (On sale: 10/12/2021)

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  • A Kind of Spark

    by Elle McNicoll

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    You’re going to fall in love with this heart-wrenching story about courage, persistence, and acceptance. When Addie learns about the witch trials in Scotland hundreds of years ago, she decides to create a memorial for the innocent people who lost their lives. As a person with autism, Addie will first have to overcome the prejudice she experiences in her small town, but she refuses to give up until she reaches her goals.
    (On sale: 10/19/2021)

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  • How Does My Body Work? Human Body Book for Kids

    by Sara LaFleur, MD

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    The human body is incredible, and kids are always curious about how it works. This fascinating nonfiction book uses STEM and STEAM activities, fun facts, photos, and experiments to teach kids about their bodies. Whether your child wants to become a doctor when they grow up, or they’re just a curious kid, this book is a must-have.
    (On sale: 10/19/2021)

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  • YA

  • Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults)

    by Barack Obama

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    The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir is now available for a younger generation of readers. Follow along as the 44th President of the United States of America shares memories about his father, childhood, and the lessons he learned growing up. From his humble beginnings in Hawaii to his time in the White House, readers will appreciate this tale of perseverance and the ultimate American dream.
    (On sale: 10/5/2021)

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  • On Top of Glass

    by Karina Manta

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    Figure skating champion Karina Manta shares her experiences in high school, dealing with anxiety, coming out, and rising to the top in her memoir. Readers will get a peek into the life of a pro athlete and the pressure they experience to look and act in a certain way. It’s the perfect book for any teen who has felt like an outsider or like they don’t belong (which is pretty much every teenager).
    (On sale: 10/19/2021)

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  • 30 Days of Creativity

    by Johanna Basford

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    Johanna Basford’s bestselling coloring books became an international phenomenon and inspired people around the world to explore their creativity. Now, you can dig even deeper and get your creative juices flowing with the help of this 30-day guide filled with inspiration, how-to’s, tips, advice, and plenty of coloring.
    (On sale: 10/26/2021)

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