All Ages

The Best Children’s and YA Books of September 2019

by the Brightly Editors

School is back in session and the last days of summer are winding down, which can only mean one thing: a thrilling selection of new fall reads! From a brand-new Dr. Seuss book to YA novels tackling serious topics with brave protagonists, your beloved young readers are in for a treat.

  • Picture Books

  • Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum

    by Dr. Seuss, illustrated by Andrew Joyner

    Created from a newly-discovered manuscript, Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum is a fascinating exploration of art, from creation to appreciation. Browse a cheerful museum full of horse-themed artwork by the greats, including Picasso and Jackson Pollock. Kids will love Andrew Joyner's illustration style and appearances from Seussian favorites in this jam-packed ode to art.
    (On Sale: 9/3/19)

  • Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

    by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

    Using her own experience with childhood diabetes, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shares an important message about recognizing the unique differences and abilities of all - and celebrating that diversity. While a group of children plant a community garden, they take turns asking questions and learning about each other. Paired with vibrant illustrations, it's a charming and essential picture book.
    (On Sale: 9/3/19)

  • Unicorns 101

    by Cale Atkinson

    It's time to get scientific about unicorns. This hilarious book goes into it all, from diet and habitat to social behaviors and goofy historical anecdotes (like the time one unicorn made it rain waffles for a week - yum!). Studious readers will even earn a diploma at the end of the course. (Celebratory waffles not required, but highly encouraged.)
    (On Sale: 9/3/19)

  • Save It!

    by Cinders McLeod

    The third installment of Cinders McLeod's Moneybunny series (following Spend It! and Earn It!) teaches young readers the practical values of patience and saving. Honey is saving up, too - with the carrots she earns for bunnysitting her rambunctious siblings, she sets some aside to invest in a space of her own, while still indulging in a couple of treats.
    (On Sale: 9/3/19)

  • Hey Grandude!

    by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst

    Paul McCartney - yes, that Paul McCartney - knows a thing or two about being a cool grandpa, just like the Grandude at the heart of McCartney's new picture book. With a magic compass in hand, Grandude takes his four grandkids on incredible, globetrotting adventures. Celebrate the grandudes in your own family with this fun-filled romp.
    (On Sale: 9/5/19)

  • I am Walt Disney

    by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

    During his lifetime, Walt Disney brought endless magic to the world - and his legacy, of course, lives on. Now, readers can learn even more about the man behind the mouse in this kid-friendly biography. I am Walt Disney is the latest addition to the bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series, which inspires children to consider how they can change the world, too.
    (On Sale: 9/10/19)

  • Five Minutes

    by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Olivier Tallec

    For kids, five minutes can feel like forever. It can also go by in the blink of an eye. That's what one boy is dealing with as he moves through a day punctuated by moments of joy (puppies!) and pure boredom (more errands). Espousing patience for never-ending moments and appreciation for fleeting ones, Five Minutes is worth every second of reading time.
    (On Sale: 9/17/19)

  • I Want a Dog

    by Jon Agee

    Beloved author-illustrator Jon Agee is back, this time following one determined girl's journey through an off-the-wall animal shelter. No, the girl insists, she'd rather not adopt an aardvark, nor a weasel, nor a hissing goose - as entertaining as they may be. She has her heart set on a dog, and she's willing to wait for her perfect match.
    (On Sale: 9/24/19)

  • YA

  • American Royals

    by Katherine McGee

    Katherine McGee's American Royals reimagines the past as one where General George Washington was offered a crown after winning the Revolutionary War. In present day, his heirs to the throne are teen sisters Beatrice and Samantha, neither of whom is enamored with the role she has to play. Full of intrigue and romance, it's a highly addictive read.
    (On Sale: 9/3/19)

  • Frankly in Love

    by David Yoon

    Korean-American Frank Li is barely in touch with his Korean identity, yet his immigrant parents would never approve of him dating a non-Korean - like Brit, Frank's girlfriend, who's white. With his friend Joy Song, who's in the same shoes, Frank concocts a fake dating scheme to fool their parents. Nuanced and illuminating, Yoon's novel follows the three characters' separate paths to self-discovery.
    (On Sale: 9/10/19)

  • Pet

    by Akwaeke Emezi

    "There shouldn't be any monsters left in Lucille." So opens Akwaeke Emezi's YA debut, Pet. Jam was born after the monsters lost power, after justice was finally restored. But one day Jam meets Pet, a horned creature that emerges from one of her mother's paintings and has arrived to hunt a monster. A genre-defying novel that raises important questions about our political climate, expect Pet to make big waves this fall.
    (On Sale: 9/10/19)

  • The Prom

    by Saundra Mitchell, Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin, and Matthew Sklar

    In Edgewater, Indiana, the PTA would rather cancel senior prom altogether than allow two girls to attend as dates. Little does the PTA president know that her daughter Alyssa has been dating Emma Nolan for over a year. When two Broadway stars hear the story and arrive in Edgewater poised for a scene, the drama's about to hit the fan. Based on the Tony-nominated musical, and soon to be a Netflix film, readers won't want to miss this.
    (On Sale: 9/10/19)

  • Juliet Takes a Breath

    by Gabby Rivera

    The night before flying from the Bronx to Portland, Oregon, to intern with a feminist writer she idolizes, Juliet finally comes out to her Puerto Rican family - and her mother doesn't take it well. Though her idol can't help with the questions of intersectionality she's dealing with, Juliet's in for one breathtaking summer in this anthem of authenticity and joy.
    (On Sale: 9/17/19)

  • The Babysitters Coven

    by Kate M. Williams

    There's a witchy new series on the block, with serious (and seriously delightful) Baby-sitter's Club vibes. Esme Pearl kick-started her neighborhood's babysitting club, and she can't fathom why too-cool Cassandra Heaven wants to join. Cassandra doesn't mention the note her mother left behind urging her to find the babysitters - but the girls are about to uncover ancient powers they never knew they had.
    (On Sale: 9/17/19)

  • Rules for Vanishing

    by Kate Alice Marshall

    Sara's sister Becca disappeared a year ago, and Sara knows exactly where she is: trapped on Lucy's road, a mystical in-between place that opens once a year in the forest - a road that ends with the beckoning of the ghost of Lucy Gallows. Sara and her friends wait for their opening and follow the road of terrors. But will they make it out alive?
    (On Sale: 9/24/19)

  • Who Put This Song On?

    by Morgan Parker

    Based on her own teenage diaries, award-winning poet Morgan Parker's YA debut tells the life-affirming story of 17-year-old Morgan, who's struggling with growing up black in an overwhelmingly white suburb while also navigating depression. Morgan's desire to be herself sings loud and clear in this novel that author Elizabeth Acevedo calls "unflinchingly irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreakingly honest."
    (On Sale: 9/24/19)