Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles published in October. Everything here is realistic, including historical fiction, mysteries, and adventure. Happy reading!
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour (ill. by Ken Daley). 9781773060415. 2018. Gr K-3.
A young girl travels to Haiti to visit her artist aunt, Luce. Through Luce’s paintings, the young girl feels more connected to her Haitian heritage and culture; and when Luce asks to do a portrait of the girl, she begins to see herself in a different way.
Baby Bear’s Adoption by Jennifer Keats Curtis (ill. by Veronica V. Jones). 9781607187264. 2018. Gr K-3.
Two children follow their father, a wildlife scientist, into the winter woods to tag a female bear that just had cubs. When a baby bear is orphaned the next summer, the team takes it into the woods, where they find the mama bear, hoping that she will adopt the new cub.
The Book That Jake Borrowed by Susan Holt Kralovansky. 9781455623259. 2018. Gr K-3.
In this cumulative tale, Jake’s library book runs into all sorts of problems, from the sticky jam to the hungry cat…and on and on. Will the librarian let Jake check out any more books?
Builders & Breakers by Steve Light. 9780763698720. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A construction worker’s two children bring his forgotten lunch box to the work site. There they see machines doing different jobs, some building and some breaking—as well as all sorts of things discovered in the huge hole being dug.
Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena (ill. by Christian Robinson). 9780399549045. 2018. Gr PK-2.
On her birthday, Carmela is finally old enough to go out with her brother as he runs errands through their Spanish-speaking neighborhood, though he wishes she would stay at home. Together they make it to the laundromat where Carmela finds a dandelion and her brother encourages her to make a wish before she blows on the white fuzz.
Gator, Gator, Gator! by Daniel Bernstrom (ill. by Frann Preston-Gannon). 9780062463302. 2018. Gr PK-3.
An intrepid little girl asks the reader to help her on her journey to the swamp to find a giant gator.
Good Morning, Snowplow! by Deborah Bruss (ill. by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson). 9781338089493. 2018. Gr PK-1.
As the snow continues to fall into the night, a snowplow driver and his dog readies the truck and makes his lonely rounds through the blizzard
Hip-Hop Lollipop by Susan McElroy Montanari (ill. by Brian Pinkney). 9781101934821. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Lollipop, a high-energy girl, hip-hop dances her way through her bedtime routine.
I’m an Immigrant Too! : An Australian Story by Mem Fox (ill. by Ronojoy Ghosh). 9781534436022. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Australian author Mem Fox explores the many ways that immigrants have contributed to and enriched her home country.
Little Whale by Jo Weaver. 9781682630495. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Little Whale is nervous about leaving the shallows of the warm, southern sea. Gray Whale gently guides her new baby and protects Little Whale from ships and predators as they migrate home to the cool rich waters of the north.
Mapping Sam by Joyce Hesselberth. 9780062741226. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Illustrated maps of all types show the adventures of a curious cat named Sam as she explores her city at night, as they teach children about how maps work.
Mia Moves Out by Miranda Paul (ill. by Paige Keiser). 9780399553325. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Mia loves having her own room. When her little brother is born, she doesn’t mind sharing with him—at first. But as he grows, so does his mess, until Mia gets so fed up that she declares, “I’m moving out!” She tries to find another private room in the house (bathroom, basement, pantry) but nothing works out. And she starts to realize that she misses her brother, too
The Night the Forest Came to Town by Charles Ghigna (ill. by Annie Wilkinson). 9781459816503. 2018. Gr PK.3.
Only the children notice as the forest creeps quietly into the town one night.
Quiet by Tomie dePaola. 9781481477543. 2018. Gr PK-1.
Two children and their grandfather sit on a park bench and observe the busy energy of the park, while they appreciate being quiet and still.
Sometimes Rain by Meg Fleming (ill. by Diana Sudyka). 9781481459181. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Readers can celebrate the different ways they can play outside throughout the seasons.
Thank you, Omu! by Oge Mora. 9780316431248. 2018. Gr PK-2.
An elderly woman makes her delicious stew for dinner and the smell wafts through her urban neighborhood, drawing everyone for a bowl. A little boy, a police officer, a doctor, a shop owner, a cab driver, a construction worker, and others all have a taste. But when dinner time arrives, her pot is empty. Thankfully, her community has not abandoned her and they provide a feast that they all can enjoy.
The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker (ill. Mark Pett). 9781419725746. 2018. Gr PK-3.
A curious little girl is fascinated by an old castle in the middle of town and every time she walks by she tries to get the attention of the old guard. One day, despite the rumors of something monstrous living in the castle, she musters up the courage to knock on the door, and the guard shows her the wonders that actually do live in the castle. In return, she helps the guard reconnect with the town.
Winter Is Here by Kevin Henkes (ill. by Laura Dronzek). 9780062747198. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Sparse text and expansive illustrations celebrate the sights, sounds, and smells of winter.
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos. 9781620143629. 2018. Gr 4-6.
With her fourth sibling on the way, Dominican American Ana María Reyes feels a need to get out of her family’s small apartment. She learns of an upcoming piano competition that offers a scholarship to a New York City private school. To win, she has to make it through her family hijinx and a family trip to the Dominican Republic. With the advice of friends, she learns what really matters.
Blended by Sharon M. Draper. 9781442495005. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Isabella, a young competitive pianist, alternates her weeks between her white working-class mother and her wealthy black father—and she hates it. She is trying to discover just who she is, while also dealing with a racist incident against a friend. And she doesn’t know how to stand up to her parents, who she loves, and explain how their behavior to each other affects her.
Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz. 9780765394590. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Twelve-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery–a real-life shantytown in the Philippines. One day, her mother goes missing, leaving Nora to fend for herself. Along with her best friend Jojo and his grandmother, Nora decides to go on a dangerous adventure to find her mother.
In Your Shoes by Donna Gephart. 9781524713737. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Two awkward tweens meet in an unexpected way. Miles lives in near constant irrational anxiety above his family’s bowling alley. Amy lives above her uncle’s funeral home and writes imaginative stories. Both struggle with recent loss. One day, Miles accidentally hits Amy in the head with a bowling shoe, and with this incident, the two are destined to become close.
Island War by Patricia Reilly Giff. 9780823439546. 2018. Gr 4-6.
When Japanese soldiers invade an isolated Aleutian island during World War II, two students from Connecticut, both visiting the island with their families, are the old ones not deported to a prison camp. They don’t like each other, but must try to cooperate in order to survive the weather and the harsh wilderness until they are rescued.
It’s Not Easy Being Mimi (It’s Mimi’s World! Book 1) by Linda Davick. 9781442458895. 2018. Gr 1-4.
Mimi lives with several other eclectic children at the Periwinkle Tower. Life is going fine until Boris moves in. Mimi thinks they can’t be friends because their differences irritate her, but they eventual become friends in this silly early chapter book.
Journey of the Pale Bear by Susan Fletcher. 9781534420779. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Acting as her handler, twelve-year-old runaway Arthur is supposed to calm a polar bear who is to be gifted to King Henry III of England by King Haakon IV of Norway in 1252. But when their ship sinks in a storm, they must learn to rely on each other
Kat Wolfe Investigates (Wolfe and Lamb Mysteries, Book 1) by Lauren St. John. 9780374309589. 2018.
Kat and her veterinarian mom move to the town of Bluebell Bay in England, where Kat sets up a pet-sitting service. When her first client goes missing, Kat decides to do some detective work. She also becomes friends with Harper, an American girl laid up with two broken legs. But there’s nothing wrong with her brain or her fingers, and the two team up to solve their first mystery.
Miraculous Miranda by Siobhan Parkinson. 9781444929072. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Miranda loves writing and words and has a big imagination. When her sister is taken to the hospital, Miranda creates her own fantasy world called Magnanimous, which has a Hospital for Getting-Better Children. She has written about other wishes that have come true; can she also wish her sister well?
My Father’s Words by Patricia MacLachlan. 9780062687692. 2018. Gr 4-6.
After the sudden death of her psychologist father, Fiona is left to care for her withdrawn younger brother during the summer while her overwhelmed mother does her best to complete a college degree. Struggling herself, Fiona relies on a stalwart neighbor, a rescue dog, and a former patient of her father who decides to pay the doctor’s kindness forward by calling Fiona each week and offering some of her father’s most memorable sayings.
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters (Questioneers, Book 1) by Andrea Beaty. 9781419733604. 2018. Gr 1-4.
When Rosie is unable to invent a contraption to help one of Aunt Rose’s Raucous Riveters friends, she calls on classmates Iggy Peck and Ada Twist to help.
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts (Sam Wu Is Not Afraid, Book 1) by Katie & Kevin Tsang. 9781454932550. 2018. Gr 1-3.
After an embarrassing incident on a school field trip, Ralph teases Sam Wu for being a scaredy-cat. Sam comes up with a plan to prove he is not afraid of ghosts.
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon. 9781524715953. 2018. Gr 4-6.
One summer ten-year-old Caleb and his big brother Bobby meet their new neighbor, sixteen-year-old Styx Malone. Styx convinces the boys to attempt an “escalator trade” that exchanges one small thing for something better until they achieve the object of their dreams—a moped. But their plan spirals out of control and the brothers quickly learn that Styx has secrets that could ruin everything and get the boys into big trouble.
The Truth about Martians by Melissa Savage. 9781524700164. 2018. Gr 4-7.
When a flying saucer crash-lands next to Mylo’s Roswell, New Mexico, ranch in 1947, he and his friends Dibs and Gracie set out to find and help the Martians.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
Come November by Katrin van Dam. 9781338268423. 2018. Gr 7-10.
Rooney’s life gets complicated when her mother loses her job and spends all her time with a cultish group who claim aliens will be arriving to take believers to a new world paradise on an alien planet. Rooney does her best to keep herself, her younger brother—also a believer—and her mother intact, but as the deadline approaches, Rooney is faced with abandoning her own dreams to support her family and to keep her mother’s mental illness from ruining their futures.
Counting to Perfect by Suzanne LaFleur. 9781524771799. 2018. Gr 5-7.
Cassie finds herself relatively ignored by her parents since her older “perfect” sister, Julia, gave birth to her daughter in her senior year of high school. When Julia asks Cassie to take a leave with her and the baby, Cassie reluctantly agrees, thinking it will be a quick road trip. But soon Cassie realizes that Julia has no real intention of returning home. And as they travel with no particular destination, Cassie’s jealousy fades and she realizes how much she missed her big sister as a friend, and begins to understand how hard it has been for Julia.
Dear Sister by Alison McGhee (ill. by Joe Bluhm). 9781481451420. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Brother chronicles life with his frequently-annoying sister, from the time she is born until she is ten and he leaves for college, through a series of letters and drawings.
Grenade by Alan Gratz. 9781338245691. 2018. Gr 5-8.
In 1945, a young American Marine named Ray fights his way across the island of Okinawa. On the same island, a young boy named Hideki has been taken from school, forced into the service of the Blood and Iron Student Corp, and given the instructions to go out and kill an American soldier. When the two come face to face, the choices they make will affect everything.
I’m Ok by Patti Kim. 9781534419292. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Ok Lee, a twelve-year-old Korean American boy, tries a get rich quick scheme of starting a hair-braiding business and winning the school talent competition. He wants to hide the fact that he is struggling with the loss of his father and the financial hardships he and his mother must now bear.
Max Einstein : The Genius Experiment (Max Einstein, Book 1) by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein. 9780316523967. 2018. Gr 4-8.
Max Einstein, a homeless 12-year-old genius, is recruited into a mysterious organization whose mission is solving some of the world’s most complicated challenges through science and critical thinking. Along with a diverse cast of young geniuses, Max finds ways to eradicate poverty, war, climate change, and pandemic disease. But an evil organization called The Corporation has other plans for her.
The Perfect Secret by Rob Buyea. 9781524764593. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Five kids in seventh grade at Lake View Middle School will find their year full of discoveries, secrets, and kid power as they deal with their own personal struggles—Gavin with the football coach who won’t give him game time, Randi at her elite gymnastics camp, Scott whose school newspaper article that may reveal a nest of lies, Trevor with his loser older brother troubles, and Natalie who just wants to find out why Mrs. Magenta and Mrs. Woods no longer speak to one another.
The Reckless Club by Beth Vrabel. 9780762490400. 2018. Gr 5-7.
Five students—a drama queen, a flirt, an athlete, a rebel, a nobody—preparing to start high school must spend the last day of summer vacation volunteering at an assisted living home to atone for past misdeeds in middle school. Over the course of that one day, secrets are revealed, labels are lost, and bonds are formed with the people the students are caring for, and with each other.
The Right Hook of Devin Velma by Jake Burt. 9781250168627. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Even though he suffers from social anxiety, twelve-year-old Addison agrees to help his best friend achieve social media fame by performing a prank at a nationally-televised NBA game.
Swallow’s Dance by Wendy Orr. 9781772780628. 2018. Gr 6-8.
Leira is training to be a priestess is brutally aborted when an earthquake sends her and her family fleeing to the island of Crete. But more disaster is to come. A nearby volcano erupts and a tsunami almost destroys their city. Leira will have to do everything she can to help her family survive in this historical tale set in the Bronze Age.
Two Roads by Joseph Bruchac. 9780735228863 2018. Gr 5-8.
Cal and his father have been riding the rails for several years after they lost their farm during the Depression. When Pop has to go to Washington DC to protest because he and other veterans are not receiving their checks, he tells Cal that they are actually Creek Indians—and Cal is going to the same government boarding school that he attended. At the school, Cal learns more about his heritage at the same time that the school tries to sever all ties to that heritage
What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford. 9780399551529. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Seeking to cure her acne, Ethel finds she has actually turned herself invisible with her strange mushroom-flavored tea she got from the internet and then gets into the tanning bed she got on sale. At first she has great fun, but one day the effect doesn’t wear off, and she and her best friend Boydy find themselves in the mists of a heart-stopping series of adventures. She needs to keep her secret safe from the awful Knight twins and to answer the greatest mystery of all—Ethel’s true identity.
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
After the Fire by Will Hill. 9781492669791. 2018. Gr 10-12.
Moonbeam has grown up in a cult led by a religious, dictatorial leader, Father John, who has strict rules and strict consequences for those who disobey him. But then the federal government comes and rescues her and eighteen other children in an inferno that takes the lives of many she thought she loved. What follows is the recovery as she learns to trust and heal, emotionally and physically.
An Assassin’s Guide to Love & Treason by Virginia Boecker. 9780316327343. 2018. Gr 9-12.
In Elizabethan England, seventeen-year-old Kit goes undercover as a spy for the queen, while nineteen-year-old Toby goes undercover as a revolutionary in a plot to kill the queen during the Shakespeare play “Twelfth Night.” But despite their opposite missions, the two star-crossed assassins, both playing actors, fall in love.
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak. 9781984830159. 2018. Gr 10-Adult.
The five Dunbar brothers, who have raised themselves since their mother’s death, begin to learn family secrets, including those surrounding their father’s disappearance, and that of fourth brother Clay, who will build a bridge for complex reasons, including his own redemption.
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver. 9780062224132. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Five years after Summer Marks’ death, people still think her best friends, Mia and Brynn, are responsible based on their complete immersion into a novel that blended reality with magic and led them to murder. But they are innocent, and on the anniversary of Summer’s death, Mia and Brynn are pulled back into the murder mystery when a seemingly innocuous discovery brings them together. But as fiction and reality begin to blend again, the girls start to realize what really happened five years before.
The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange. 9781619635029. 2018. Gr 9-12.
After their friend’s suicide, Seth and Mouse ask Eli to join their hacking team to win a prestigious competition. Eli agrees, but soon learns that the team’s real purpose is seeking revenge on those whose bullying caused their friend’s suicide.
Easy Prey by Catherine Lo. 9781419731907. 2018. Gr 9-12.
When a scandalous picture of Miss Bailey appears online, the only three people who had access to it, high school students Matthew “Mouse” Maguire, Drew Wilson, and Jenna Bradley, all deny posting the damaging image. Through rigorous investigation, secrets are revealed, relationships torn apart, and vengeance is taken.
I, Claudia by Mary McCoy. 9781512448467. 2018. Gr 9-12.
At Imperial Day Academy, Claudia McCarthy tries to become invisible because of her limp and speech impediment. But her enemy, Honor Council member Livia Drusus, convinces Claudia to run for student senate. As she rises through the ranks of student government, Claudia discovers that the more power she gains, the more questions she has about the corrupting nature of that power. This is a retelling of the 1934 novel I, Claudius.
Imagine Us Happy by Jennifer Yu. 9781335015365. 2018. Gr 9-12.
As she tries to deal with her own depression, Stella is trying to hold her junior year together. But when two of her friends drag her to a party, she meets Kevin. It seems like he understands her, and as they spend more time together, she ignores her parents, friends, and therapist. But their relationship is rocky, and Stella will have to decide what parts of her life are worth saving.
Just Wreck It All by N. Griffin. 9781481465182. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Filled with guilt over causing an accident, Bett swings between a happiness she feels she doesn’t deserve and punishing herself for her prior action. She distances herself from everything she used to enjoy, and when she slips and lets some joy in, she binges on food to punish herself. A former daredevil, she hasn’t allowed herself to join track, but now the new track coach has pushed her to join again. Just how many cupcakes will she have to eat to make up for competing?
Odd One Out by Nic Stone. 9781101939536. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Two high school juniors, Courtney and his best friend Jupiter, along with new sophomore Rae, explore their feelings for one another in a complex love triangle where all the players are confused about who they want.
The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig : A Love Story by Don Zolidis. 9781368009614. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Craig and Amy’s relationships travels through one break-up after another over the course of their senior year of high school. Both struggle to understand themselves and figure out their futures as they become entangled in their complicated first love.
Swing by Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess. 9780310761914. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Noah, who is white, and his best friend Walt, who is black, are determined to woo the girls of their dreams and become star athletes. But Sam, Noah’s dream girl, has him firmly in the friend zone. When Noah finds a stash of old love letters that have the words that he’s always wanted to say to Sam, he starts making artwork using lines from the letters. When his art becomes public, and hidden prejudices in the town build to a climax, Noah and Walt have to decide what love, friendship, sacrifice, and the truth mean to them.
This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender. 9780062820228. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Nate Bird dreams of becoming a screenwriter, and while he loves the wide range of emotions in film, he struggles in real life to express himself. After a breakup, he swears off happy endings, until his former best friend and secret crush moves back to town.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. 9780062866561. 2018. Gr 9-12.
In 2002, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl named Shirin starts over at yet another high school, still trying to deal with the prejudice and abuse that followed 9/11. She copes with the anti-Islamic animosity by turning to music and break-dancing. She meets Ocean James, who comes from a very different background, but really seems to want to get to know her. But she’s had the walls up for so long, she doesn’t know if she can really let him.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera. 9780062795250. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Two very different boys find romance one summer in New York City. Broadway-loving Arthur, who’s only interning in the city for the summer, meets aspiring-writer Ben when Ben is on his way to the post office to mail his ex-boyfriend’s things back to him. The two try to make it work after several false starts and miscommunications, but wonder if they are meant to be together after all.
When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen. 9780062679826. 2018. Gr 9-12.
On the night before her engagement to Chicago’s most eligible man, Emmeline remembers a childhood life in the Chicago slums and her love for Anders Magnuson, who has grown up to be a boxer. She risks everything to meet him again, as they are caught in the 1871 Chicago fire.
You Are the Everything by Karen Rivers. 9781616208158. 2018. Gr 9-12.\
Elyse Schmidt is on a flight back home from a band trip to Paris next to her crush, Josh Harris, when the plane crashes. Pnly Elyse and Josh survive. After long hospital stays, when their families move to Wyoming for a fresh start, the two teens begin a relationship. Although Elyse got the boy she wanted so badly, her life is not perfect like she thought it would be.