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Best New Books!

Fabulous Halloween haunts, updated classics, and the best in pop-ups. Check out what's new for the season!

  • Grades: 3–5

5 Seasonal Delights 

From hibernation to Halloween, here are five new stories to celebrate the season of autumn.

 

Old Bear By Kevin Henkes. Grades PreK–2
In the same illustration style as last year’s A Good Day, Henkes tells the sweet story of a wizened bear finding a place to curl up for the winter—and dreaming of his cub days. A great read aloud for a fall unit on animals.

Vunce Upon a Time By J. Otto Seibold and Siobhan Vivian. Grades K–3

Fans of Seibold’s Olive, the Other Reindeer will appreciate the seamless wordplay and humor here. Dagmar, a shy vegetarian vampire who’s afraid of humans, is enticed outside by the promise of trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Goosebumps Horrorland #5: Dr. Maniac vs. Robby Schwartz By R.L. Stine. Grades 3–6

Now’s the time to get caught up on the next generation of Goosebumps. The Horrorland series takes place at a spooky amusement park, and in this installment, an evil comic strip character comes to life.

Bats at the Library By Brian Lies. Grades PreK–3

If you missed Bats at the Beach, now’s your chance to get to know the author’s charming, fuzzy heroes. This time around, they spend a magical night at the library, reading classics such as Goodnight Moon and Pippi Longstocking.

Frankenstein Takes the Cake By Adam Rex. Grades K–5

Rex is quickly proving himself to be one of the most humorous talents of the decade. In this follow-up to Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, his goofy, relatable monsters are back—and now Frankenstein gets married, with Dracula as his best man.

 

3 Must Read Fantasies

Publishers have weighed down shelves with thick fantasy tomes ever since Harry Potter. Here’s what’s worth reading this season.

 

The Graveyard Book By Neil Gaiman. Grades 4 and up

In Gaiman’s first novel for middle-grade readers since Coraline, a boy named Bod literally grows up in a cemetery, raised by ghosts, werewolves, and other spooky creatures. Gaiman’s lyricism makes it difficult to resist his peculiar universe.

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins. Grades 7 and up

Collins portrays an eerie dystopian society in which child “tributes” compete in a fight to the death on national television. Grim, yes, but utterly gripping and a compelling beginning to a new trilogy from the author of The Underland Chronicles.

The Unnameables By Ellen Booraem. Grades 5–8

Names are important on the Island—the eerie setting for this intriguing debut novel, written in a riff on Old English, which follows fourteen-year-old Medford as he begins to question the rigid rules and labels of his community.

 

3 Classics to Rediscover

These editions bring new life to favorite tales—and will be the ones young readers remember for years to come.
 

The Gift of the Magi By O. Henry, illustrated by P.J. Lynch. Grades 1–5

In this picture book version of Henry’s holiday tale, Jim and Della’s modest apartment and huge sacrifices for one another are portrayed with gentle beauty—Lynch’s soft artwork is seemingly a tribute to Henry’s Victorian sensibilities.

The Black Stallion By Walter Farley, illustrated by Keith Ward. Grades 3–6

Random House is reissuing the famous equine adventure with Ward’s original 1941 illustrations. The timeless quality of both
text and pictures will have you recommending this one again.

Hansel and Gretel Adapted by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. Grades 1–4

Morpurgo finds the heart in the bleak fairy tale you remember, focusing on the love and relationship between siblings. Clark’s illustrations further brighten up the story.

 

4 Amazing Pop-Ups

The engineering is getting more and more intricate—and the text isn’t being forgotten, either—in these paper wonders.

 

Brava, Strega Nona! By Tomie dePaola, paper engineering by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart. Grades 1–3

The legendary dePaola has teamed up with pop-up masters Sabuda and Reinhart to create a book of wisdom from one of dePaola’s most memorable characters. Kids who’ve read dePaola’s other Strega Nona books will especially get a kick out of this interactive tale.

 

Predators  By Lucio and Meera Santoro. Grades 1–4

Sure to have instant appeal with your wildlife fans, this pop-up features vibrant crocodiles, polar bears, and other beasts ready to crawl off the page and into your classroom! Quick facts accompany each animal depicted.

 

ABC3D By Marion Bataille. Grades PreK–2

The alphabet literally springs to life in this stunning pop-up, with each spread featuring only one or two letters and no additional text. The graphic simplicity makes it a terrific tool for your reading center. (Don’t miss the accompanying YouTube video, either!)

 

Fairies and Magical Creatures By Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda. Grades 1–5

After the success of their Encyclopedia Prehistorica books, Reinhart and Sabuda have turned to the more fanciful; the first installment in their gorgeous Encyclopedia Mythologica series portrays flighty fairies, wood nymphs, and more.

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