Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles that were published in October. This month is even busier than last, so I’ve again divided the easy and fiction titles into two posts. This one contains anything realistic, including mystery, historical, and adventure. Check back later for my lists of speculative titles.
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Alfie : (The Turtle That Disappeared) by Thyra Heder. 9781419725296. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Both Nia and her pet turtle, Alfie, describe what happens when he disappears on the eve of her seventh birthday to find her a special present.
A Book for Benny by Judith Koppens. 9781605373522. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Sam wants to read her book. Her dog Benny wants to play. So off they go to the library to find a book for Benny. But Benny isn’t so sure that he wants to read. Maybe he just needs to find the right book!
Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi. 9781626725638. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Two boys, both drawing lines, happily realize that they can connect their lines, until conflict erupts.
Fort-Building Time by Megan Wagner Lloyd (ill. by Abigail Halpin). 9780399556555. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Whatever the season, kids find many materials they can use to make many different types of forts. Because what kid doesn’t like to make a fort!
La La La by Kate DiCamillo (ill. by Jaime Kim). 9780763658335. 2017. Gr K-3.
A lonely girl sings all by herself. Deciding to look for someone to sing with, she gathers her courage and steps outside into the world, singing to trees, ponds, and reeds, but none sing back—none but the moon when she wakes from sleep to a beautiful starry night.
The Little Girl Who Didn’t Want to Go to Bed by Dave Engledow. 9780062425379. 2017. Gr PK-2.
This hilarious live-action picture book about a girl, who can find many things to do besides going to bed, was created by her photographer dad.
Lovely by Jess Hong. 9781939547378. 2017. Gr PK-2.
A wide variety of diverse people celebrate how every human being, regardless of individuality, can be lovely.
A Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhane (ill. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton). 9781481458801. 2017. Gr K-2.
The author, who at nine was the youngest nominee ever for a Best Actress award, tells of a young girl who is getting readied for her appearance at an awards show.
Nile Crossing by Katy Beebe (ill. by Sally Wem Comport). 9780802854254. 2017. Gr 1-3.
There are plenty of books about the first day of school, but this one takes place in ancient Egypt, where a young boy puts away the fishing pole he uses every day in the Nile River with this father so that he can go to school.
Sam & Eva by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. 9781481416283. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Sam and Eva disagree about everything when it comes to their art, but when their drawings come to life and create mayhem, they will need to learn how to cooperate.
Singing in the Rain by Tim Hopgood. 9781250127709. 2017. Gr PK-2.
This picture book adaptation of the song “Singing in the Rain” celebrates the glory of clouds and rain.
A Thousand Billion Things (And Some Sheep) by Loic Clement (ill. by Anne Montel). 9781910277423. 2107. Gr PK-2.
A young girl enjoys the choices she can make throughout the day and invites the readers to search and make their own choices on the busy pages. However, she doesn’t like bedtime, because there are no choices—the only thing to count is sheep!
Windows by Julia Denos (ill. by E.B. Goodale). 9780763690359. 2017. Gr PK-2.
A boy walking his dog through his city neighborhood wonders about the people he meets and the things he sees and the homes that are inside the lighted windows.
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar. 9781620143568. 2017. Gr 4-6.
In 1942, ten-year-old Anjali finds her life completely turned upside down when her mother answers Mahatma Gandhi’s call to practice “ahimsa”—non-violent resistance—against the British government. The family must trade in their fine goods for more homely wares and clothing, and then Anjali must get past her prejudices when her mother reaches out to the Dalit community of “untouchables” for further help. When her mother is jailed, Anjali must take her place.
The Chocopocalypse by Chris Gallaghan. 9781524719159. 2017. Gr 3-5.
Jelly is trying to think of a good idea for a science project when she hears the news that the world is going to run out of chocolate—in SIX days! While everyone else panics, she thinks something is a bit fishy about the upcoming disaster. With her gran along to help, she aims to get to the bottom of this mystery.
Fire the Depths (Max Tilt, Book 1) by Peter Lerangis. 9780062441003. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Max discovers the unfinished and unpublished manuscript of his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne, which reveals that everything he wrote was not fiction but fact. Together, Max and his cousin Alex set about finding the treasure in this last manuscript of Verne’s, but they have a rival in the strange man Spencer Niemand, who has spent his life working to unlock the clues in Verne’s fiction.
The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine. 9781338148510. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Julian lives large in eternal optimism, while his sister Pookie and his parents seem to be falling apart now that they are moving from Washington, D.C. to Maine. Julian is excited to use his telescope without the city’s light pollution, and thinks that if he can discover a comet and name it, then his family will see how they are all connected—If only Mr. X, their neighbor, would stop trying to undermine his parents’ opening of a B&B.
Marge in Charge (Book 1) by Isla Fisher. 9780062662187. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Upon her arrival, Jemima and Jake Button’s new babysitter Marge seems like a short and serious grandmother-type. But as soon as Mr. and Mrs. Button leave, Marge lets her true colors shine. With her rainbow hair and fun-loving attitude, she shows Jemima and Jake one hilarious adventure after another.
Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris & Shelly Brown. 9781629723303. 2017. Gr 3-6.
Maddie loves making her friends laugh by putting on fake mustaches and being funny—even if it means alienating class queen bee Cassie by making her jealous. But after Maddie is cast in the sixth-grade play of “Romeo and Juliet” as Juliet—alongside the cutest boy in class—she is diagnosed with a brain tumor.
The Notations of Cooper Cameron by Jane O’Reilly. 9781512404159. 2017. Gr 4-6.
At the family cabin by the lake where his grandfather died two years ago, eleven-year-old Cooper Cameron spends the summer trying to rid himself of the rituals that allow him to cope with his grief and fear.
Open If You Dare by Dana Middleton. 9781250085726. 2017. Gr 4-6.
When Birdie and her friends find a box that says “Open if you dare” written on it, of course they dare…and find themselves in the middle of a 40-year-old mystery.
Paper Chains by Elain Vickers. 9780062414342. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Katie has lately been wondering about her Russian birth mother. Though she shares everything with her best friend, Ana, whose family is also Russian, Katie worries talking about the subject could throw off the balance of her happy family. Meanwhile, Ana struggles to adjust to the changed dynamics in her own family after her father moves out to pursue a professional hockey career, leaving her mother in a depressive slump.
The Player King by Avi. 9781481437684. 2017. Gr 4-6.
In 1486 England, a penniless kitchen boy named Lambert Simnel is told by a mysterious friar that he, Lambert, is actually Prince Edward, the true King of England, setting him on a dangerous course to regain the throne. Avi’s latest novel is based on a true story.
Puritan Girl, Mohawk Girl by John Demos. 9781419726040. 2017. Gr 4-6.
After Eunice is adopted by the Mohawks and brought to Canada. Adopted by the tribe, she learns their ways and traditions. When her father and brother beg her to return to her old home, she must decide where she really belongs.
The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange. 9781338157475. 2017. Gr 4-6.
It’s after World War I, and Henrietta feels all alone at her new home, Hope House. She doesn’t know who to confide in when she thinks she sees…something…in the shadows of the nearby wood. Should she follow that beckoning light?
Shai & Emmie Star in Break an Egg! by Quvenzhane Wallis. 9781481458825. 2017. Gr 1-3.
Best friends Shai and Emmie, two third graders, are shocked when Shai doesn’t get the lead role in the class musical. Instead, the part goes to Gabby, the new girl. Then, Mr. Martinez actually asks Shai to help Gabby in her part, and Gabby won’t make it easy, even when Emmie joins Shai in her task.
Sink or Swim : A Novel of WWII by Steve Watkins. 9781338057904. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Colton and his older brother Danny are fishing when a German U-boat hits their boat. Danny, who had just enlisted in the Navy, is badly hurt, so twelve-year-old Colton steals his papers and goes to boot camp instead. This novel is based on a true story.
Sven Carter & the Trashmouth Effect by Rob Vlock. 9781481490146. 2017. Gr 3-6.
After being caught eating a moldy muffin, Sven thought his biggest worry was being nicknamed Trashmouth. But when his arm falls off and reattaches itself to his body, he discovers that he’s actually a humanoid designed to destroy the human race. The only problem is, he doesn’t want to. And now he and his human friends will have to band together to stop a plot that would have Sven aiding in the annihilation of humanity.
The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City by Jodi Kendall. 9780062484536. 2017. Gr 4-6.
On Thanksgiving Day, Josie’s older brother Tom rescues a piglet from a nearby farm and brings it home. He names the piglet Hamlet, and Josie form an instant bond with her. But Josie’s family is too big and their cramped city house is no home for a growing pig. As Josie and her family and friends race to find a forever home for Hamlet, Josie learns about belonging and believing in herself.
The VanderBeekers of 141st Street by Karina Van Glaser. 9780544876392. 2017. Gr 2-5.
Told that they will have to move out of their Harlem brownstone just after Christmas, the five Vanderbeeker children, ages four to twelve, decide to try to change their reclusive landlord’s mind. But nothing seems to go the way they plan.
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy. 9780062342454. 2017. Gr 3-6.
When Charlie sees a group of pickpockets stage a brash robbery in Marseille, France, he is intrigued. This is the most exciting thing to happen in his privileged but boring life as a diplomat’s son. When Charlie defends one of the young thieves to the police, he asks for a reward: to be taught how to pick pockets as well—and now he can’t complain of life being boring!
Zach and the Turkey Attack! by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. 9781481437790. 2017. Gr 3-5.
While helping on his grandparents’ farm, Zach, his best friend Matthew, and neighbor Josie try to outsmart a tormenting turkey and, in the process, just might solve a mystery of missing jewelry.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt. 9781250107114. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Nicki has been in and out of foster homes and always finds her way back to the center with the other orphans. So when a marshal sets her up with a family living in the witness protection program as a means of fooling any criminals on their trail looking for a family of three instead of a family of four, she looks forward to the challenge. But maintaining a B-minus average while keeping her new family safe from hitmen is harder than she imagined—especially when her own past comes back to haunt her.
Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life by Shelley Tougas. 9781626724181. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Charlotte’s mom is such a fan of the Little House books that she moves her family all the way out to the author’s home in Walnut Grove. She is hoping for inspiration as she writes a book, but Charlotte knows her mom is just running away from her problems. Charlotte just wants to get away from this good-for-nothing town. But maybe Walnut Grove does have some redeeming qualities, if Charlotte is willing to see them.
Not on Fifth Street by Kathy Wiechman. 9781629798042. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Pete and his brother Gus have been struggling lately to get along. But all the things that seemed to matter don’t anymore when the waters of the Ohio River rise and flood their city. Separated from one another, the boys have to find a way to survive, forgive, and find the true meaning of brotherhood and being a family.
The Perfect Score by Rob Buyea. 9781101938256. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Randi the gymnast, Gavin the football fanatic, Trevor the tough guy, Scott the brainiac, and Natalie the know-it-all are all in Mrs. Woods’s sixth-grade class. When the time for statewide assessment tests arrives, these unlikely friends band together to put in motion a big idea that will have huge consequences.
Saturdays with Hitchcock by Ellen Wittlinger. 9781580897754. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Maisie feels that she has enough complications in her life: her father is not pleased that her uncle has moved in with her family while he recovers from an accident; her grandmother is slipping into dementia but wants to remarry; her mom has been laid off. Now her best friend Cyrus, with whom she spends Saturdays watching classic movies, has revealed that he is gay—but Gary, the boy he has a crush on, seems more attracted to Maisie herself.
Sit by Deborah Ellis. 9781773060866. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Each of these eleven short stories begins with a child sitting and about to experience a traumatic event, which they must overcome.
The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbott. 9780374305505. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Owen is excited to spend the summer hanging out with his best friend Sean. But Sean’s mother’s new job throws a bit of a wrench in their plans when she hires a babysitter, Paul, to look after her son. When Sean confides in Owen that Paul has started to do things to him, he makes Owen promise not to tell anyone. Now Owen doesn’t know what he should do—keep his friend’s secret, or tell someone so they can stop the abuse.
The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman. 9781772780277. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Alba is strengthening her left leg after a final surgery to correct her congenital clubfoot. Her friendship with intellectual classmate Levi is threatened when he scoffs at Alba’s plans to run in an upcoming cross-country race, and she responds by scorning his theory that the school librarian has discovered a wormhole in her office. The friends soon learn how much they need each other.
Touchdown Kid by Tim Green. 9780062293855. 2017. Gr 5-7.
Liam is offered a scholarship to an elite private school with an amazing football team. But after an injury leaves his position open, his best friend Cory steps in to take his place—with great success. But now Cory is faced with challenges on and off the field as he struggles with being a “scholarship kid” from the wrong part of town at a rich private school.
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz. 9780062642745. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Pilot Valka joins an all-female aviation group in Russia during World War II, while the boy she grew up with fights for his life on the front lines. As the war rages on, Valka must decide what she is willing to risk to defend her homeland.
Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten. 9781481418607. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Sasha is angry with Ivy for repeatedly breaking Xavier’s heart, because her own feelings for Xavier have grown past friendship. So she pretends to be a guy online to try to get Ivy to cheat on Xavier. But nothing goes as she planned; in fact, they go terribly wrong. Readers won’t be able to put down this psychological thriller until the last page!
Calling My Name by Liara Tamani. 9780062656865. 2017. Gr 9-12.
This novel follows African American Taja Brown from her middle school years to her final year of high school in Texas as she experiences best friends, first love, school, church, betrayal, self-doubt, and new dreams while trying to stay true to herself.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone. 9781101939499. 2017. Gr 9-12.
As he writes letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.
Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis. 9781250119766. 2017. Gr 9-12.
At sixteen, Flora leaves behind life as she knows it at her Manhattan prep school to follow Elijah, the boy she’s fallen hard for, to a remote Quaker boarding school. Whether she is successful in her goal of making Elijah fall in love with her or not, it will be a year to remember.
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway. 9780062330628. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Grace, Maya, and Joaquin are biological siblings who never knew they were siblings until they became teens, having all been sent into either adoptive families or the foster care system. When Grace finds out she is actually a middle child, she searches for Maya, her younger sister, and Joaquin, the older brother. However, all three have a lot of built-up anger, and maybe getting together and trying to be a biological family is not the best idea after all.
The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook. 9780544829824. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Skye uses her tarot card reading and paranormal abilities to help the police investigate the disappearance of town golden girl Paige Bonnet. However, Skye actually set the kidnapping up in order to get money from the police to finally move out of her small Midwestern town. When the kidnappers go beyond what Skye wanted, she realizes they may be willing to kill to get what they want. She will have to use every ability she has to find out their true identities and rescue Paige.
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe. 9781627796187. 2017. Gr 8-12.
Fourteen-year-old Dita and her parents have been taken from their home in Prague and imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Inside the camp, Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz when Jewish leader Fredy Hirsch tasks her with guarding the eight precious books they have managed to smuggle into camp.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. 9781481438254. 2017. Gr 8-12.
As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn’s fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator with Will and reveal truths that he needs to know.
Munro vs. the Coyote by Darren Groth. 9781459814097. 2017. Gr 10-12.
Haunted by a taunting voice he calls “the Coyote,” Munro is filled with anger and grief after the death of his sister. He signs up for a student exchange program in Australia, where he volunteers at an assisted-living facility for special-needs adults. Though Munro begins to feel a sense of purpose, will “the Coyote” allow him to forgive himself and move on?
Protected by Claire Zorn. 9781492652137. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Nearly a year after her popular older sister’s accidental death, Hannah meets Anne, a guidance counselor, and Josh, a potential new friend, who offer her the chance to move forward.
Sidekicks by Will Kostakis. 9780373212620. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Though Ryan, Harley, and Miles don’t care much for each other, they hang out because of their mutual best friend, Isaac. But when Isaac dies in a tragic accident, the boys come to realize that more than just their mutual friend holds them together.
Sparrow by Sarah Moon. 9781338032581. 2017. Gr 7-10.
Sparrow has always preferred reading books to playing with friends (not that she has many of those), and the one person who seemed to understand her was Mrs. Wexler, the school librarian. After Mrs. Wexler is killed in an accident, Sparrow’s world comes apart. When Sparrow is found on the edge of the school roof, everyone assumed that it is a suicide attempt, and though Sparrow denies it, she cannot find the words to explain.
Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni. 9780735228047. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Tess drops out of high school after Jonah, a boy she only knew through emails and texts, commits suicide. Tess and Jonah had both said they loved each other. Tess continues writing Jonah’s Facebook page and finds solace in her father’s alternative funeral service for people’s pets. Then, Tess receives a message she thoughts he would never get, and her world turns upside down.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. 9780525555360. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Aza Holmes, a high school student with obsessive-compulsive disorder, becomes focused on searching for a fugitive billionaire.