Aug 20, 2021

Fall Books Preview

The summer reading prizes have been awarded and it's been hot and humid for weeks. I'm ready for fall. Aside from the obvious crisp air, sweaters, and pumpkins, fall also brings us some of the best books of the year. Below is a short list of titles I'm looking forward to reading. You'll find picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, even a few nonfiction works. Some beloved, classic authors are returning with new books so keep an eye on our shelves. You can expect these newbies to appear anytime between September and November. 

Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest by Phoebe Wahl
Wahl never disappoints when it comes to creating the delicate textures and cozy colors of nature. In four tales that follow the seasons, Wahl introduces us to Little Witch Hazel. She's a midwife, an intrepid explorer, a hard worker, and a kind friend to creatures big and small. Little Witch Hazel rescues an orphaned egg, goes sailing on a raft, solves the mystery of a haunted stump, and makes house calls to fellow forest dwellers. But when Little Witch Hazel needs help herself, will she get it in time? 

Dear Little One by Nina Laden
From the treasure of flowers to the mystery of insects, there is wonder everywhere you look in the natural world. By personifying Mother Nature, this gentle, lyrical picture book encourages children to explore the natural world and embrace all the possibilities that surround us. 

Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Seeger has already shown us the ways in which color evokes emotion in her award winning Green and Blue. In Red, she continues this journey by sharing the anger, fear, hostility, and ultimately love of a fox trying to return to his family. 

If You Want to Knit Some Mittens by Laura Purdie Salas
How do you knit a pair of mittens? The first step is to get a sheep of course! In this playful picture book, a girl follows 18 steps to knit mittens. From spinning and dying wool to knitting mittens, her mischievous sheep creates chaos and ultimately wins her heart. 

Wildfire! by Ashley Wolff
Wildfires have been a constant in the news for the past few years. This picture book takes readers into the heart of a forest fire and shows how animal survive, how heroic first responders curb the flames, and how life gradually returns to the forest. Detailed notes at the end about forest fires and firefighting tools and techniques make this book a perfect resource about our natural spaces. 

Egg Marks the Spot by Amy Timberlake
Amy Timberlake and Jon Klassen are back with the second book in their Skunk and Badger series. Buried in the heart of every animal is a secret treasure. For rock scientist Badger, it's the Spider Eye Agate he found as a cub, stolen years ago by a crafty cousin. For Skunk, it's Sundays with the New Yak Times Book Review. When an old acquaintance, Mr. G. Hedgehog, announces his plan to come for the Book Review as soon as it thumps on the doorstep, Skunk decides an adventure will solve Badger's problems as well as his own. Surprisingly, Badger agrees and they set off on an agate-finding expedition at Badger's favorite lake. But all is not as it seems at their campsite. 

The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo
Highly acclaimed heavyweight author DiCamillo has created a fantastical story about fate, love, and the power of words to spell the world. In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled up in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret, one that imperils them all, for the king of the land seeks just such a girl and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy himself, knows why. 

Pax, Journey Home by Sara Pennypacker
The long-awaited sequel to Pax is finally here. It's been a year since Peter and his pet fox Pax have seen each other. Once inseparable, they now lead very different lives. Pax and his mate have welcomed a litter of kits and Peter, newly orphaned after the war, joins the Water Warriors, a group dedicated to healing the land from the scars of war. When one of Pax's kits falls seriously ill, he turns to the one human he knows he can trust. Pax and Peter find themselves on a journey toward home and healing.  

How to Train Your Dad by Gary Paulsen
Carl is fed up with his father's pursuit of an off-the-grid existence. His dad may be brilliant, but dumpster-diving for food, scouring through trash for salvageable junk, and wearing clothes from garage sales is getting old. Increasingly worried about how his schoolmates think of his circumstances, Carl adopts the principles set forth in a randomly discovered puppy training pamphlet to "retrain" his dad's mindset... with some very unintentional results.

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
Relocating to a new planet after Earth is destroyed, Petra Pena's suspended animation fails during the 370 year journey. When all the other children are mysteriously reprogrammed and the adults purged, Petra becomes the lone bringer of Earth's now forbidden stories and her grandmother's Mexican folklore to a changing humanity. 

Marshmallow and Jordan by Alina Chau
Jordan's days as a star basketball player end when an accident leaves her paralyzed from the waist down. Jordan is still her team's captain, but her competition days seem to be behind her... until an encounter with a mysterious elephant named Marshmallow helps Jordan discover a new sport. 

Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen
Garlic feels as though she's always doing the wrong thing. No matter how much her friend Carrot and kindly Witch Agnes encourage her, Garlic just wants to tend her own garden where it's nice and safe. But when her village of vegetable folk learns that a bloodthirsty vampire has moved into the nearby castle, they all agree that Garlic is the obvious choice to confront him. Garlic reluctantly agrees to face the mysterious vampire, hoping she has what it takes. After all, garlic drives away vampires... right?

Living Ghosts and Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories by Dan SaSuweh Jones
A dark figure in the night. An owl's cry on the wind. Monsters watching from the edge of the wood. Hungry skeletons. Witches and walking dolls. Some of the creatures in these pages might only have a message for you, but some are the stuff of nightmares. These 32 stories are collected from the thriving tradition of ghost stories from American Indian cultures across North America. 

Opposites Abstract by Mo Willems
Willems takes a dramatic departure from what he's known for with this concept book. Is this light? Is this dark? Is this soft? Is this hard? Using colors, shapes, lines, and textures, Willems invites readers to explore abstract concepts through eye-popping, emotive paintings and simple, open-ended questions. 

Picturing a Nation: The Great Depression's Finest Photographers Introduce America to Itself 
by Martin W. Sandler
Through 140 photographs, Sandler unpacks the United States Farm Security Administration's (FSA) sweeping visual record of the Great Depression. In 1935, with the nation bent under unprecedented unemployment and economic hardship, the FSA sent ten photographers on the road trip of a lifetime. The images they logged revealed the daily lives of Southern sharecroppers, Dust Bowl farmers in the Midwest, Western migrant farmers, and families scraping by in Northeast cities. Using their cameras as weapons against poverty and racism, these talented photographers created not only a collective work of art, but a national treasure in service of hope, courage, and human dignity.  

History Smashers: Plagues and Pandemics by Kate Messner
During the Black Death in the 14th century, plague doctors wore creepy beaked masks filled with herbs, right? Wrong! Those masks were from a plague outbreak centuries later and most doctors never wore anything like that at all! With a mix of sidebars, illustrations, photos, and graphic panels, Messner delivers another gem in her History Smashers series about the bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis, polio, influenza, and COVID-19.