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All Ages

The Best Children’s and YA Books of September 2021

by the Brightly Editors

best-kids-books-sept-2021

Fall is one of the best times of year for new book releases, and you’re going to fall in love with this lineup! From magic-filled picture books to heartfelt middle grade novels and buzz-worthy YA, there’s something here for every age and stage.

  • Picture Books

  • Grumpy Monkey Oh, No! Christmas

    by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang

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    Celebrate the holidays with your favorite curmudgeon! While it might feel too early to think about Christmas, it will be here before you know it. Now is an excellent time to collect picture books to get you and your family into the holiday spirit. Join Jim Panzee and his jungle friends as they navigate the ups and downs of the season.
    (On sale: 9/14/2021)

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  • My Two Border Towns

    by David Bowles, illustrated by Erika Meza

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    This striking picture book tells the story of a boy and his father as they make their weekly trip across the US-Mexico border to a town just on the other side. There, they make purchases, visit family, and check in on friends as they wait for their chance to immigrate. A very accessible book on borders, immigration, and community.
    (On sale: 9/14/2021)

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  • A Walk in the Words

    by Hudson Talbot

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    As a kid, Hudson Talbott struggled to read, but he loved drawing, and he loved stories. In A Walk in the Words, Hudson tells the story of how he came to understand that being a slow reader didn't make him a "bad" reader. Brimming with self-empowerment and beautiful art, it's a heart-warming book that celebrates those who learn differently.
    (On sale: 9/14/2021)

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  • Change Sings

    by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long

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    Amanda Gorman stunned America when she delivered her powerful poem during the presidential inauguration. Now, you can share her inspirational message with your children. Her picture book shows readers of all ages that we can change the world for the better when we work together.
    (On sale: 9/21/2021)

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  • Nina

    by Traci Todd, illustrated by Christian Robinson

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    Eunice Kathleen Waymon was a musical prodigy who wowed her family and friends with her talent. As she grew in popularity, she adopted the stage name Nina Simone. This gorgeously illustrated biography depicts her rise to stardom and how she used her voice to fight for equality during the civil rights movement.
    (On sale: 9/28/2021)

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  • Chapter Books & Middle Grade

  • One Life: Young Readers Edition

    by Megan Rapinoe

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    Kids interested in making a difference will want to read this motivational memoir from star athlete and activist Megan Rapinoe. Adapted for a younger audience, it takes readers through Megan’s childhood and the path she took to become the icon she is today. She encourages kids to be brave, speak up, and use their voices to inspire change.
    (On sale: 9/7/2021)

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  • The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race

    by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate

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    Kids that can’t get enough of this exciting series will count down the days until they can get their hands on the latest installment. Like the previous books in the series, this one has a fast-paced adventure, laugh-out-loud moments, and illustrations splashed across every page. It will keep your kid entertained for hours!
    (On sale: 9/14/2021)

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  • How to Find What You're Not Looking For

    by Veera Hiranandani

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    Part of growing up is learning what your beliefs are — even if they differ from your family’s. This historical novel is about a Jewish girl named Ariel dealing with several significant changes. When her sister elopes with a man from India, her family gets thrown for a loop. Ariel must sort through all the changes in her life and figure out what she believes — and how to stand up for those beliefs.
    (On sale: 9/14/2021)

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  • What Is Black Lives Matter?

    by Lakita Wilson and Who HQ, illustrated by Gregory Copeland

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    The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter emerged in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s killer went unpunished. As the hashtag gained attention, the movement calling for social justice and reform gathered momentum. Children should know about the events and message behind the hashtag, and this book is an excellent place to start.
    (On sale: 9/21/2021)

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  • The Knight at Dawn Graphic Novel

    by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews, adapted by Jenny Laird

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    Kids can now enjoy their favorite Magic Tree House stories in graphic novel format. Step back in time to the Middle Ages with Jack and Annie as they go on a quest to find a knight. With full-color artwork, this graphic novel adaptation is perfect for both reluctant readers and established series fans.
    (On sale: 9/21/2021)

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  • Pony

    by R. J. Palacio

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    Prepare to have your heart broken and put back together again with this upcoming novel from the bestselling author of Wonder. This extraordinary story is about a boy searching for his kidnapped father, the ghost that accompanies him, and what he learns along the way. It’s the can’t-miss book of the year!
    (On sale: 9/28/2021)

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  • YA

  • Hello (From Here)

    by Chandler Baker and Wesley King

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    The pandemic presented unique challenges for teenagers. This novel captures the emotions, anxieties, and messiness of the pandemic through the eyes of two teens during California’s lockdown. Loss, love, and unusual circumstances combine into an unputdownable story that YA readers will adore.
    (On sale: 9/7/2021)

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  • Beasts of Prey

    by Ayana Gray

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    If you’re looking for a total escape from reality this month, you can’t go wrong with this heart-pounding fantasy adventure. Monsters, magic, and a breathtaking hunt through an untamed jungle will have you reading through all hours of the night. Keep a flashlight on hand because you’re going to need it!
    (On sale: 9/28/2021)

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  • As Good as Dead

    by Holly Jackson

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    The conclusion to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series is finally here! When Pip, a viral true-crime podcaster, starts receiving threatening messages, she thinks it’s connected to an old serial killer case. Once again, the police refuse to investigate, so Pip has no other option — she must find the culprit before they follow through on their gruesome threats.
    (On sale: 9/28/2021)

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  • You'd Be Home Now

    by Kathleen Glasgow

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    #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathleen Glasgow tackles the opioid crisis in her hard-hitting YA novel. Emory has always been the “good” girl, but with her brother fresh out of rehab, she realizes that people are more complex than a label. She must figure out who she is and how she fits into her family, community, and the world. This touching novel is both timely and essential.
    (On sale: 9/28/2021)

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