The Best Children’s and YA Books of November 2017

by the Brightly Editors

November’s best new releases include beautiful and moving picture books, much-anticipated middle grade novels, and YA reads that will keep you turning pages fast and furious. So warm up the apple cider and settle in for some great reading with one of these fantastic new books.

  • Picture Books

  • Hortense and the Shadow

    by Natalia O’Hara, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara

    Hortense detests the dark shadow that follows her wherever she goes. Until, on a lone walk one night, she comes upon a group of bandits in the woods and her shadow proves an invaluable ally. Stunning illustrations and sparse text combine to create a fascinating, nuanced tone in this tale that touches on themes of fear, friendship, and self-acceptance.
    (On Sale: 11/7/17)

  • Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

    by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton

    Available from:

    Kids have an innate curiosity about and appreciation for the world around them, tuning into all kinds of plants, animals, and ecosystems. And so they are perhaps the best audience to understand and recognize the importance of diversity on our planet. In Many, author Nicola Davies and illustrator Emily Sutton take complex scientific concepts like biodiversity, environmental pollution, and ecological preservation and right-size them for kids. A beautiful and important book for young planet protectors.
    (On Sale: 11/7/17)

    Also available from:
  • Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender

    by Elvis Presley, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

    Available from:

    Share sweet words of love with the little ones in your life with this adaptation of Elvis Presley's classic song. Perfect as a gift from a parent, grandparent, or extended family member, the timeless lines offer the chance for cozy bonding time and a little music history appreciation too.
    (On Sale: 11/14/17)

    Also available from:
  • Hey Black Child

    by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier

    Do you know you can be
    What you want to be
    If you try to be
    What you can be?

    Those are just a few lines from Useni Eugene Perkins's moving and inspiring poem "Hey Black Child," which has been adapted into a picture book of the same name by award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier. Collier's bright and vibrant illustrations help amplify the hope, optimism, and inspirational message of Perkins's poem, celebrating black children and all those striving to become their greatest self.
    (On Sale: 11/14/17)

  • Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

    by Oliver Jeffers

    Available from:

    Inspired by the birth of his son, and written as a welcome to the world, Here We Are is a stunningly illustrated guide to living on Earth. Using sweet and tender notes, sprinkled with gentle humor, Jeffers helps little ones explore what makes up our world and how we live in it. Throughout, Jeffers underscores one very important message to his readers: Be kind to one another.
    (On Sale: 11/14/17)

    Also available from:
  • A Song for Snow

    by Lita Judge

    Owl siblings Hoot and Peep return in this new story about a new discovery: snow! When Hoot says that snow is on its way, inquisitive and songful Peep impatiently asks her older brother all about the noises snow makes. With bold watercolor illustrations and fun-to-read text, this picture book reminds children that, sometimes, beautiful things take time.
    (On Sale: 11/14/17)

  • Middle Grade

  • Penelope March Is Melting

    by Jeffrey Michael Ruby

    Nothing bad ever happens in Glacier Cove, but now the iceberg on which the town is built is melting. The magical shard that keeps the village afloat has been stolen by a giant sea monster and it’s up to Penelope — the girl who would rather be reading about adventures than actually in one — to get it back. With a cast of quirky characters and fantastical worldbuilding, readers will love following this bookworm turned heroine as she fights to save her home.
    (On Sale: 11/14/17)

  • Whichwood

    by Tahereh Mafi

    Available from:

    Fans of Furthermore will be thrilled to dive into Tahereh Mafi’s newest novel. Thirteen-year-old Laylee is suffering from loneliness, grief, and despair — and she also suspects that she’s dying. When two kind strangers, Alice and Oliver, appear in Whichwood on a mission to help Laylee, she’s not certain what to think or whether to hope. A simultaneously inventive, dark, and whimsical companion to Furthermore that will appeal to middle grade and YA readers alike.
    (On Sale: 11/14/17)

    Also available from:
  • Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court

    by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld

    In Becoming Kareem, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recounts a challenging childhood and what it was like to face prejudice on and off the court; he also credits the many, sometimes unexpected, mentors who guided him along the way, like Muhammad Ali. This one’s a moving and inspiring memoir of a kid who overcame countless obstacles to become a record- and boundary-breaking athlete, an advocate for social justice, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    (On Sale: 11/21/17)

  • The Magic Misfits

    by Neil Patrick Harris, illustrated by Lissy Marlin

    Neil Patrick Harris (yes, that Neil Patrick Harris) pens this fast-paced, magic-filled middle grade book, the first in a new series. Carter is a street magician, a runaway, and an outsider. But when he lands in Mineral Wells, he unexpectedly finds friendship — and some shifty characters too. Carter teams up with five friends and together, the six Magic Misfits will try to save the town from the baddies. With its humor, quick tempo, elements of magic, and compelling story of friendship, The Magic Misfits will hit the mark with tween readers.
    (On Sale: 11/21/17)

  • YA

  • Renegades

    by Marissa Meyer

    YA powerhouse Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles) is back with a tale of adventure, danger, extraordinary humans, and, yes, love too. The Renegades are humans with special abilities who are revered by many ... but not all. Nova is out for vengeance against the Renegades, but what will that mean for Adrian, a Renegade who wants justice and understands Nova's motivation? The nuanced characters, action-packed story, and impressive worldbuilding make this one a page-turner.
    (On Sale: 11/7/17)

  • Rosemarked

    by Livia Blackburne

    Told from alternating points of view, Blackburne paints a world riddled by deadly disease. When Zivah, a healer trying to fight the Rose Plague, unexpectedly crosses paths with a soldier on the hunt for revenge, Zivah must decide whether she can trust Dineas to help her on a dangerous mission to undermine an empire. Featuring complex characters, an unlikely romance, and dangerously high stakes, Rosemarked is a great match for teen fantasy readers looking to start a new series.
    (On Sale: 11/7/17)

  • This Mortal Coil

    by Emily Suvada

    It’s been two years since a deadly virus infected the world and brought humanity to near extinction. In a world where people are implanted at birth with the technology to recode their DNA, it will take a skilled geneticist like Cat’s father to find a cure. But it’s also been two years since he was taken by a corrupt organization known as Cartaxus. When Cat, a talented genetics hacker herself, learns that her father has died and given her the key to decoding the vaccine, she faces the seemingly impossible task of saving the human race. A fast-paced thriller with twists at every turn, This Mortal Coil will leave readers hungry for the next installment.
    (On Sale: 11/7/17)

  • Fragments of the Lost

    by Megan Miranda

    When Jessa’s ex-boyfriend Caleb dies in an accident, his mom asks for her help in packing up his old room — even though she blames Jessa for what happened. As Jessa sorts through Caleb's belongings, each item brings up a memory of their time together. With each new memory, Jessa starts to question how well she really knew Caleb and just what exactly happened in that accident. A captivating plot, a thrilling twist, and beautiful writing throughout — Megan Miranda’s new book does not disappoint.
    (On Sale: 11/14/17)

What other new books are you looking forward to reading this month?