Here are the new books for children and young readers we’re looking forward to the most this month:
Alley Cat Rally
Ricky Trickartt, 2021
Asta the cat is on a mission: to be the greatest racer her neighborhood has ever seen. She needs to show those alley cats who the real slow pokes are! And what better opportunity than the Kibble Hill Rally?
Using a bit of ingenuity and a washing machine, Asta’s ready to take on the other racers, but can she compete with Marvin’s souped-up shopping basket or Anton’s sleek sportscar and win the race?
Buckle up for this lively tale from Ricky Trickartt about the importance of persisting, even when your dreams might feel out of reach…
Maya and the Robot
Eve L. Ewing, 2021
Maya’s nervous about fifth grade. She tries to keep calm by reminding herself she knows what to expect. But then she learns that this year won’t be anything like the last. For the first time since kindergarten, her best friends Jada and MJ are placed in a different class without her, and introverted Maya has trouble making new friends.
She tries to put on a brave face since they are in fifth grade now, but Maya is nervous! Just when too much seems to be changing, she finds a robot named Ralph in the back of Mr. Mac’s convenience store closet. Once she uses her science skills to get him up and running, a whole new world of connection opens up as Ralph becomes a member of her family and Maya begins to step into her power. In this touching novel, Eve L. Ewing melds together a story about community, adapting to change, and the magic of ingenuity that reminds young readers that they can always turn to their own curiosity when feeling lost.
Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter
Jamie Michalak, 2021
Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter is both a rollicking story with a dash of danger and, in its final eye-popping spreads, a seek-and-find challenge. As the clock in the great museum tick-tocks past midnight, a little mouse with a sack and a treasure map scurries past the guards. Plucky and intrepid Dakota Crumb scours the museum for artifacts, including the famous Purple Jewel of Cairo (a gumdrop stashed in an exhibit). By day, the little mouse shares her carefully curated finds with fellow tiny creatures that flock to Miss Crumb’s tiny Mousehole Museum. A feast for sharp-eyed readers–who’ll delight in circling back after the story to pore over the illustrations in search of treasure–this gently suspenseful tale, splashed with soft, dusky hues, evokes a world of wonders after dark.
Gordon Korman, 2021
Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it’s woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika. Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing?
Because Michael was the first person to see it, he’s the first suspect. Because Link is one of the most popular guys in school, everyone’s looking to him to figure it out. And because Dana’s the only Jewish girl in the whole town, everyone’s treating her more like an outsider than ever.
The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face-not just the crimes of the present, but the crimes of the past.
With Linked, Gordon Korman, the author of the acclaimed novel Restart, poses a mystery for all readers where the who did it? isn’t nearly as important as the why?
Gracey Zhang, 2021
Oh, there goes Lala! She carries a pot of water around the corner, down the block, and over the fence, to a patch of dirt and concrete where tiny weeds sprout. Hello, hello, friends! she whispers. Lala waters the plants every day, but it is her kind words that make them sway and nod.
Lala’s wild nature and quiet compassion enchant in this evergreen story about the power of kind words and the magic of being loved for who you are.