New Release Round Up – July 27, 2021

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’m so excited to share the new releases I am most looking forward to this week with you all.

As always, these titles will have inclusive characters (think racial and cultural diversity, LGBTQ+ representation, diverse family structures, disability representation, and more), and fall into a range of genres in both fiction and nonfiction categories.

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Picture Books

My Dog Romeo by Ziggy Marley, Illustrated by Ag Jatkowska

Ziggy Marley’s ode to his four-legged friend Romeo becomes a picture book that is sure to touch the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.

“My Dog Romeo”–a single on More Family Time, the follow-up children’s album to the GRAMMY Award-winning Family Time–is a playful and endearing tribute to Ziggy Marley’s beloved pet dog Romeo. Opening with Romeo’s barking, Marley sings of his great love and friendship with his four-legged friend.

Now, with beautiful illustrations by Ag Jatkowska–illustrator of Marley’s debut picture book, I Love You TooMy Dog Romeo becomes a vibrant picture book that follows a child and a dog throughout their days, sharing their love of music and play. The perfect accompaniment to Marley’s charming children’s album, My Dog Romeo is sure to be a hit among young, old, and, of course, our furry friends.”

How to Make a Friend by Stephen W. Martin, Illustrated by Olivia Aserr

A girl’s efforts to build a robot friend go comically awry when the robot attempts world domination in this witty metaphor for the ups and downs of friendship.
 

Ever wish friendship came with an instruction manual? A resourceful youngster follows step-by-step directions for constructing a robot to be her friend. The instructions make it sound so simple! But they also caution that sometimes a friendship doesn’t turn out as hoped for, as the girl discovers when her new friend unexpectedly unleashes an evil robot army on the city. Now she has to stop the robot and seriously reevaluate their friendship! In the end, the resilient heroine of this comical and clever tale not only saves the city, she finds a real and lasting friend where least expected. “

Henry at Home by Megan Maynor, Illustrated by Alea Marley

The love between a brother and sister shines through in this reassuring picture book about a common childhood transition—an older sibling starting school and leaving the younger one behind.

Liza is Henry’s big sister, and Henry is Liza’s little brother. As long as there has been a Henry and Liza, they have always done everything together. Haircuts, birthday parties, tree climbing, even flu shots. Liza and Henry. Henry and Liza. But that all changes when Liza starts school for the first time, heading off to kindergarten and leaving her little brother behind. Henry is incredulous. How can Liza do this to him?

This true-to-life picture book, gorgeously illustrated, explores a sweet sibling relationship and carries an important and reassuring message about family and growing up.”

Middle Grade

Mightier Than the Sword by Rochelle Melander, Illustrated by Melina Ontiveros

“Throughout history, people have picked up their pens and wielded their words–transforming their lives, their communities, and beyond. Now it’s your turn! Representing a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, Mightier Than the Sword connects over forty inspiring biographies with life-changing writing activities and tips, showing readers just how much their own words can make a difference. Readers will explore nature with Rachel Carson, experience the beginning of the Reformation with Martin Luther, champion women’s rights with Sojourner Truth, and many more. These richly illustrated stories of inspiring speechmakers, scientists, explorers, authors, poets, activists, and even other kids and young adults will engage and encourage young people to pay attention to their world, to honor their own ideas and dreams, and to embrace the transformative power of words to bring good to the world.”

World in Between by Kenan Trebincevic and Susan Shapiro

Co-written by a New York Times best-selling author, this moving story of a Muslim boy’s exile from war-torn Bosnia to the United States offers a riveting refugee saga.​

Kenan loves drawing and playing soccer with his friends. He wants to be a famous athlete, hates it when his classmates trash his buck teeth by calling him “Bugs Bunny,” and fights with his big brother, who’s too busy and cool for him lately. Sometimes his parents drive him crazy, but he feels loved and protected—until the war ruins everything.

Soon, Kenan’s family is trapped in their home with little food or water, surrounded by enemies. Ten months later, with help from friends and strangers, they finally make it out of the country alive. But that’s only the beginning of their journey.

An action-packed page-turner with heart about a kid doing his best during difficult times, World in Between celebrates the power of community and resilience, hope and kindness.”

Weird Kid by Greg van Eekhout

From the author of Cog and Voyage of the DogsWeird Kid is a hilarious and heartfelt homage to everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and Stuart Gibb.

Jake Wind is trying to stay under the radar. Whose radar? Anyone who might be too interested in the fact that he has shapeshifting abilities he can’t control. Or that his parents found him as a ball of goo when he was a baby.

Keeping his powers in check is crucial, though, if he wants to live a normal life and go to middle school instead of being homeschooled (and if he wants to avoid being kidnapped and experimented on, of course).

Things feel like they’re going his way when he survives his first day of school without transforming and makes a new friend. But when mysterious sinkholes start popping up around town—sinkholes filled with the same extraterrestrial substance as Jake—and his neighbors, classmates, and even his family start acting a little, well, weird, Jake will have to learn to use his powers in order to save his town. “

Graphic Novels

The Accursed Vampire by Madeline McGrane

A spooky and funny graphic novel perfect for fans of The Witch Boy and Real Friends

Dragoslava is a vampire kid. It has its perks, but sometimes being stuck as a kid forever can be a pain in the neck. And that’s not even the worst part. A few centuries ago, Drago was cursed by a witch. If they don’t complete every task she sets, they will be turned into worms.

When the witch wants a spellbook from Baneberry Falls, Drago sets off with their immortal friends. But mysteries await in this sleepy Midwestern town, and Drago must figure out if the keepers of the spellbook have a hidden agenda, like everyone else they’ve ever known.

One thing’s for sure: after this accursed mission, Drago’s immortal life will never be the same again!   

I hope you all enjoyed reading about these new releases, and hopefully you found one or two to add to your young reader’s shelves!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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