Books for Pride Month

June is Pride month when the spotlight is on celebrating and honoring all types of love – to start, here’s a list of everything from picture books to middle grade that recognize people’s different orientations.

Almost Flying
By Jake Maia Arlow
352 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593112939 | Dial BFYR
Would-be amusement park aficionado Dalia only has two items on her summer bucket list: (1) finally ride a roller coaster and (2) figure out how to make a new best friend. But when her dad suddenly announces that he’s engaged, Dalia’s schemes come to a screeching halt. With Dalia’s future stepsister Alexa heading back to college soon, the grown-ups want the girls to spend the last weeks of summer bonding – meaning Alexa has to cancel the amusement park road trip she’s been planning for months. Luckily Dalia comes up with a new plan: If she joins Alexa on her trip and brings Rani, the new girl from her swim team, along maybe she can have the perfect summer after all. But what starts out as a week of funnel cakes and Lazy River rides goes off the rails when Dalia discovers that Alexa’s girlfriend is joining the trip. And keeping Alexa’s secret makes Dalia realize one of her own: She might have more-than-friend feelings for Rani.

Big Bob, Little Bob
By James Howe
Illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215922 | Candlewick
It’s not easy to become friends with someone who is nothing like you – but surprising things can happen when you give it a try. Despite the fact that they share a name, Big Bob and Little Bob are different. Big Bob likes trucks and throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls and jingling bracelets and being quiet. No matter what they do, they do not do it the same. Could they possibly be friends despite these differences? With humor and tenderness, James Howe and Laura Ellen Anderson beautifully depict the struggles and rewards that come when friendships are forged between different kinds of people.

Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope
By Jodie Patterson
Illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593123638 | Crown BFYR
Jodie Patterson, activist and Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, shares her transgender son’s experience in this important picture book about identity and acceptance. Penelope knows that he’s a boy. (And a ninja.) The problem is getting everyone else to realize it. In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson’s adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope’s frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope’s experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior
By Heather Gale
Illustrated by Mika Song
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264496 | Tundra Books
Ho’onani feels in-between. She doesn’t see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She’s happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way. When Ho’onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho’onani has to try. . . . Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is – and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her.

Julián at the Wedding
By Jessica Love
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212389 | Candlewick Press
Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol. It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side. Jessica Love returns with a joyful story of friendship and individuality in this radiant follow-up to Julián Is a Mermaid.

My Rainbow
By DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984814609 | Kokila
Warm morning sunlight and love fill the Neal home. And on one quiet day, playtime leads to an important realization: Trinity wants long hair like her dolls. She needs it to express who she truly is. So her family decides to take a trip to the beauty supply store, but none of the wigs is the perfect fit. Determined, Mom leaves with bundles of hair in hand, ready to craft a wig as colorful and vibrant as her daughter is. With powerful text by Trinity and DeShanna Neal and radiant art by Art Twink, My Rainbow is a celebration of showing up as our full selves with the people who have seen us fully all along.

Over the Shop
By JonArno Lawson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536201475 | Candlewick
A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space – until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.

Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink
By Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, and Bram Morrison, with Randi Hampson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264496 | Tundra Books
What does “skinnamarink” mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly – especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together. Based on the classic folk song made famous by a beloved trio of children’s entertainers, this picture book is best sung aloud! “Skinnamarink” is a timeless anthem of love and inclusion.

The Legend of Auntie Po
By Shing Yin Khor
304 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525554882 | Kokila
Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman’s daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan – reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch. Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in America.

Too Bright to See
By Kyle Lukoff
192 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593111154 | Dial BFYR
It’s the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there’s something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug’s eerie old house in rural Vermont . . . and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they’re trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light – Bug is transgender.

Tuesday Is Daddy’s Day
By Elliot Kreloff
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823448913 | Holiday House
The girl in this story has two rooms: one at Mommy’s house and one at Daddy’s apartment, which he shares with his partner Harry. All that’s lacking is a puppy! Daddy picks her up after school on Tuesdays. But mommy is here instead! What’s going on? Becky likes everything to be the same. But sometimes change can lead to a happy surprise! Tuesday Is Daddy’s Day is a reminder that family comes in many forms, but always comes with love. In this book, best-selling author-illustrator Elliot Kreloff writes from the heart, as the story is based upon his own family.

The Unbelievable Oliver and the Sawed-in-Half Dads
By Pseudonymous Bosch
Illustrated by Shane Pangburn
208 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525552352 | Dial BFYR
Oliver is new to the magical arts. In fact, he has only performed one act so far, and that one was interrupted by a theft-in-progress that he, his friends the twins Teenie and Bea, and his wisecracking rabbit, Benny, managed to thwart. Now Oliver has been hired for an even more important gig: a wedding. Teenie and Bea’s fathers are finally getting married, and Oliver is supposed to entertain at the rehearsal brunch. He has chosen the classic sawed-in-half trick, which will be especially amusing when he calls up the grooms as volunteers. What could go wrong? Except that weddings are supposed to be about bringing people together, not splitting them up . . . and before the trick is over, one of the fathers will have disappeared. Luckily, Oliver seems to be a better sleuth than a magician!

Holiday Spotlight: Random House Children’s Books

Here at Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, we’re lucky to work with so many different lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post is all about Random House Children’s Books.

Burn Our Bodies Down
By Rory Power
352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525645627 | Delacorte BFYR
Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relatives to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along. But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for. Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there? The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593309605 | Knopf BFYR
16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges. What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Dear Justyce
By Nic Stone
288 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984829665 | Crown BFYR
Release date: September 29, 2020
In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system. Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center. Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce – the protagonist of Dear Martin – Quan’s story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there’s a dead cop and a weapon with Quan’s prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.

Find Fergus
By Mike Boldt
36 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984849021 | Doubleday BFYR
The hilarious illustrator of I Don’t Want to Be a Frog brings picture book fans a super-silly, interactive story that will have children giggling from start to finish. Follow huge, loveable Fergus and see all the many ways in which he is TERRIBLE at playing hide-and-seek, such as standing behind a VERY tiny tree (“Found you, Fergus! That was too easy!”) or trying to camouflage in a giant crowd of bunnies and squirrels (“Try bears, Fergus. Bears!”). But wait! The game isn’t over yet! The last two pages fold out into a giant panoramic look-and-find scene, where Fergus is well and truly hidden, and young readers can have fun looking for him and lots of other details in the the crowd. There are hours and hours of play value in this adorable book. Children will want to come back to it again and again.

Glory on Ice: A Vampire Hockey Story
By Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Mark Fearing
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524714512 | Knopf BFYR
After centuries alone in his old castle, Vlad is ready to try something new. When he hears the local hockey team gushing about how they’ll crush and destroy their opponents in the next game, he knows he’s found the activity for him! Vlad immediately gives the game his all, but he soon realizes that super-human powers don’t mean much in hockey without a mastery of the basics. After weeks of practice, he’s finally ready for the big game . . . but can a hundreds-of-years-old vampire really learn new tricks? This hilarious, energetic picture book encourages teamwork, perseverance, and a love of hockey that will last a lifetime, even for an immortal being.

Max and the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins
By Lincoln Peirce
272 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593125908 | Crown BFYR
Max didn’t expect knight school to be so tough. Luckily, she has her best friends – the Midknights – at her side. But when Byjovia is under attack, the Midknights will have to face beastly creatures, powerful spells, and their greatest foe yet–themselves? Lincoln Peirce, author of the New York Times bestselling Max & the Midknights, brings more laughs, more adventures, and more silliness to Battle of the Bodkins, book two in the Max & the Midknights series.

Serpentine
By Philip Pullman
Illustrated by Tom Duxbury
80 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593377680 | Knopf BFYR
This companion to the His Dark Materials series and The Book of Dust offers a tantalizing new glimpse of Lyra and her dæmon, Pantalaimon. The world-changing events of The Amber Spyglass are behind them, and Lyra and Pan find themselves utterly changed as well. In Serpentine, they journey to the far North once more, hoping to ask the Consul of Witches a most urgent question. This brand-new story, a beguiling must-read for Pullman fans old and new, is a perfect companion to His Dark Materials and a fascinating bridge to The Book of Dust.

The Cousins
By Karen M. McManus
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525708001 | Delacorte BFYR
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point – not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious – and dark – their family’s past is. The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over – and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

The World Needs More Purple People
By Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart
Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593121962 | Random House BFYR
What is a purple person? Great question. I mean, really great! Because purple people always ask really great questions. They bring their family, friends, and communities together, and they speak up for what’s right. They are kind and hardworking, and they love to laugh (especially at Grandpa’s funny noises)! A purple person is an everyday superhero! How do you become one? That’s the fun part! Penny Purple will lead you through the steps. Get ready to be silly, exercise your curiosity, use your voice, and be inspired. Looking to reach beyond the political divide of red and blue, Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart have created a hilarious and joyous read-aloud that offers a wonderful message about embracing the things that bring us together as humans. This book will inspire a whole generation to paint the world purple!

Wild Symphony
By Dan Brown
Illustrated by Susan Batori
44 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593123843 | Rodale Kids
Travel through the trees and across the seas with Maestro Mouse and his musical friends! Young readers will meet a big blue whale and speedy cheetahs, tiny beetles and graceful swans. Each has a special secret to share. Along the way, you might spot the surprises Maestro Mouse has left for you – a hiding buzzy bee, jumbled letters that spell out clues, and even a coded message to solve! Children and adults can enjoy this timeless picture book as a traditional read-along, or can choose to listen to original musical compositions as they read — one for each animal — with a free interactive smartphone app, which uses augmented reality to play the appropriate song for each page when a phone’s camera is held over it.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Fantasy Recs If You Loved Harry Potter

If you’ve been paying attention to social media over the last few months, you might be in the market for a new fantasy series to replace a childhood fave…and we’re happy to provide you with some options! Check out our list below and let us know if we missed any truly magical series!

If you love the witches and wizards element

Akata Witch
By Nnedi Okorafor
384 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780142420911 | Speak
Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

A Wicked Magic 
By Sasha Laurens
368 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593117255 | Razorbill
The Black Book granted Dan and Liss power and turned them into witches. During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured? But then he turns up alive and trapped by an ancient force and they’re forced to work together again.

These Witches Don’t Burn
By Isabel Sterling
336 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451480347 | Razorbill
Hannah’s a witch, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. When a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire and evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: her ex, Veronica. Especially once she meets a cute new dancer, Morgan, while investigating a house party.

If you miss a male protagonist in fantasy

Beasts Made of Night
By Tochi Onyebuchi
320 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780448493916 | Razorbill
In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts. Taj is the most talented of the sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. When Taj is called to eat a sin of a member of the royal family, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves—and his own life.

If you love the found family coming together to save what they love

Seafire
By Natalie C. Parker
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451478825 | Razorbill
After her family is killed by the corrupt Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship with a crew of girls and women just like her. But when her best friend barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down the Bullets once and for all?

If you love the combination of magic and school

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House
By Janet Hill
240 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499249 | Tundra Books
It has been a year since Lucy Crisp graduated from high school and she still hasn’t found her calling. Until she discovers an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge where she applies on a whim and is accepted. Lucy moves to Esther Wren, the charming little town where it’s based, and finds a new home in a magnificent building built by a sea captain in 1876. The house has history and personality –perhaps too much personality because strange things are happening…

If you love the dark magic

Ash Princess
By Laura Sebastian
464 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781524767099 | Delacorte BFYR
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. For ten years Theo has been a held captive by the Kaiserin her own palace. Then the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable and Theo realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

Reign of the Fallen
By Sarah Glenn Marsh
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780448494401 | Razorbill
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to retrieve their souls before they turn into bloodthirsty Shades. A increase in Shade attacks reveals a disturbing conspiracy: Someone is intentionally creating Shades and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

If you want to solve some strange paranormal happenings

The Babysitter’s Coven
By Kate Williams
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707370 | Delacorte Press
Esme Pearl has a babysitters club and the rebellious Cassandra desperately wants to join. Why? The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her before she disappeared: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.” Esme and Cassandra soon discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

The Beautiful
By Renée Ahdieh
448 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524738174 | Putnam BFYR
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But for Celine Rousseau, it’s a safe haven – until she becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain. When a body is found in Sébastien’s own lair – the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks – Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

If you’re looking for something with roots in myths and fairy tales

House of Salt and Sorrows
By Erin A. Craig
416 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984831927| Delacorte BFYR
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life with her sisters. Once there were twelve, but four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Disturbed by ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers. Who – or what -are they really dancing with?

Spin the Dawn
By Elizabeth Lim
432 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593126028 | Knopf BFYR
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, and poses as a boy while competing for the job of court tailor. Maia’s task is complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, And nothing can prepare her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars.

Wicked Fox
By Kat Cho
464 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781984812360 | Putnam BFYR
Miyoung has a secret: she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide. But after feeding one night, Miyoung finds Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead – her gumiho soul – in the process.

If you just want dragons

House of Dragons
By Jessica Cluess
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525648154 | Random House Books for Young Readers
When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year these five outcasts will answer the call: A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer. Who will win?

Rebelwing
By Andrea Tang
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984835093 | Razorbill
One minute, Prudence is cashing in on a routine smuggling deal. The next, she’s escaping enforcers on the wings of what very much appears to be a sentient cybernetic dragon. Pru is used to life throwing her some unpleasant surprises–she goes to prep school, after all, and selling banned media across the border in a country with a ruthless corporate government obviously has its risks. But a cybernetic dragon? That’s new.

Seraphina
By Rachel Hartman
528 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385668415 | Penguin Teen Canada
A talented musician, Seraphina, joins the court in the Kingdom of Goredd just as a member of the royal family is murdered in suspiciously draconian fashion. Soon she is drawn into the investigation. While they begin to uncover a sinister plot to destroy the peace between humans and dragons, Seraphina struggles to protect the secret behind her musical gift, a secret so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

If you’re craving a more diverse fantasy world

An Ember in the Ashes
By Sabaa Tahir
480 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781595148049 | Razorbill
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier who secretly wants to be free. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

A River of Royal Blood
By Amanda Joy
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525518587 | Putnam BFYR
Eva was born with the magick of blood and marrow, something that hasn’t been seen for generations. As is tradition, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne. When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead.

By Tanaz Bhathena
384 Pages | Ages 12+| Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267022 | Penguin Teen Canada
Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. But sparks fly when he meets Gul in the capital’s bazaar, and soon he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance—and discovers a magic he never expected to find.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: World Emoji Day Edition

Today is World Emoji Day so we’ve put together emoji descriptions of some 2020 YA novels. Some of them should be obvious, others are a little trickier but if you’re stuck, scroll down to the bottom for the answers. And feel free to tweet your own suggestions at us!


ANSWER KEY

Date Me, Bryson Keller
By Kevin Van Whye
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593126035 | Random House Books for Young Readers
Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before. Until shy, closeted Kai asks him out, and everything changes.
Fight Like a Girl
By Sheena Kamal
272 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265554 | Penguin Teen Canada
Trisha channels her violent impulses into Muay Thai kickboxing, an unlikely sport for a slightly built girl of Trinidadian descent. Until the night her father wanders out drunk in front of the car Trisha is driving and is killed…except her mom doesn’t seem too concerned.
Followers
By Raziel Reid
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263802 | Penguin Teen Canada
When Lily’s mom kicks her out of their trailer home in the Valley, her estranged aunt invites her to live with her, her movie-star husband, and their daughter, Hailey. Lily is set up in the pool house and thrust into the company of reality-star offspring — kids who are born with silver spoon emojis on their feed.
House of Dragons
By Jessica Cluess
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525648154 | Random House Books for Young Readers
When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different: a liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer the call.
By Tanaz Bhathena
384 Pages | Ages 12+| Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267022 | Penguin Teen Canada
Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul, a girl with a prophecy, and Cavas, a boy from the tenements, together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort, a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.

The Boy in the Red Dress
By Kristin Lambert
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593113684 | Viking Books for Young Readers
New Year’s Eve, 1929: Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter. All of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but no one can outshine the boy in the red dress: Marion, the club’s star performer. Then a girl turns up dead outside the club and Marion becomes the number one suspect.

The Damned
By Renée Ahdieh
416 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984812582 | Putnam Books for Young Readers
Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly.

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea
By Maggie Tokuda-Hall
368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204315 | Candlewick
The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands.

Inspiring Gifts for Grads

People all over the world are celebrating their graduations this spring so here’s a list of inspiring picture books that make great gifts for grads regardless of age.

Don’t Worry, Little Crab
By Chris Haughton
48 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536211191 | Candlewick Press
Little Crab and Very Big Crab live in a tiny rock pool near the sea. Today they’re going for a dip in the big ocean. “This is going to be so great,” says Little Crab, splish-splashing and squelch-squelching along, all the way to the very edge. Then comes a first glance down at the waves. WHOOSH! Maybe it’s better if they don’t go in? With vivid colors, bold shapes, and his trademark visual humor, Chris Haughton shows that sometimes a gentle “don’t worry, I’m here” can keep tentative little crabs sidestepping ahead – and help them discover the brilliant worlds that await when they take the plunge.

Great Dog
By Davide Cali
Illustrated by Miguel Tanco
46 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919170 | Tundra Books
A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all? No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!

If I Couldn’t Be Anne
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499287 | Tundra Books
In this whimsical and magical picture book, Anne’s boundless imagination takes flight! She imagines being all the things she loves so dearly. If I Couldn’t Be Anne, Anne with an e, what would I be . . . Anne wonders what it would be like to be the wind dancing round the treetops. A tightrope walker, breathless and brave. A princess in a palace made of apple blossoms. A magical frost fairy or a plain little wood elf. . . . But even as Anne’s imagination soars far and wide, she comes back down to earth, recognizing that some things – like friendship! – are even better than the imagination.

Incredible Jobs You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
By Natalie Labarre
48 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212198 | Nosy Crow
Do you know what you want to do when you grow up? Why not work as a babysitter . . . for sloths? Or become a farmer . . . of corpses? You might even grow up to be someone who gets paid to actually sleep on the job! From taste testers to dinosaur dusters, there are all kinds of incredible jobs that you’ve probably never heard of – and one of them might be just right for you!

Miss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess
By Janet Hill
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499225 | Tundra Books
Miss Marcella Mink and sixty-seven of her favorite feline friends live happily in her big house by the sea. But there was a time when Miss Mink was not so happy. When Miss Mink created her own business – a feline-friendly cruise company for cat lovers and their furry companions – she found she no longer had time or energy for herself or her friends. For advice she turned to her cats, who always seemed so happy, healthy, well-rounded, well-groomed and well-rested. It was not long before the Cat Countess was feeling shipshape again. Collected here are Miss Mink’s twenty cat-approved lessons, from the benefits of a good grooming and an afternoon nap to valuable advice on friendship and diet.

Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess
By Janet Hill
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101917930 | Tundra Book
Miss Wilhelmina Moon is a dog governess. At her first placement, on a small island off the coast of France, her new charges – sixty-seven dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors – run wild. But armed with patience and a passion for teaching, as well as her companions, Mitford the monkey and Petunia the French bulldog, Miss Moon soon imparts twenty important lessons to her furry brood. Some are practical, some are playful, one or two are a little unusual, but all are necessary for the raising of happy, healthy and well-mannered dogs (and humans).

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
By Dr. Seuss
56 Pages | All Ages | Hardcover
ISBN 9780679805274 | Random House Books for Young Readers
From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’” A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!

Petra
By Marianna Coppo
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262676 | Tundra Books
Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

Ray
By Marianna Coppo
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265776 | Tundra Books
At the end of the hall, near the staircase, is a closet. In that closet lives Ray, who is a light bulb. Ray spends most of his time in darkness, which is pretty boring if you don’t know how to fill it. So boring that Ray usually slips into a dreamless sleep. . . . Everything changes one day when Ray is migrated into a portable lantern and taken on the trip of a lifetime. He wakes up in a much larger closet (the outside), surrounded by incredible things – too many to count! Everything is super big, and Ray has never felt so small. And in the morning, Ray makes an incredible discovery which will change his life forever.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be
By Emily Winfield Martin
36 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780375973277 | Random House Books for Young Readers
From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gate-fold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids-both young and old. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes and makes a great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, Easter, and graduation.

Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Skinnamarink
By Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein and Bram Morrison with Randi Hampson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264069 | Tundra Books
What does “skinnamarink” mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly – especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together.

She Persisted Around the World
By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525516996 | Philomel Books
In this companion book to She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to a group of thirteen incredible women who have shaped history all across the globe. She Persisted Around the World is a book for everyone who has ever aimed high and been told to step down, for everyone who has ever raised their voice and been told to quiet down, and for everyone who has ever felt small, unimportant or unworthy.

The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
By Watty Piper
Illustrated by Dan Santat
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593094396 | Grosset & Dunlap
The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain. This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new re-imagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Make sure you pick up one of these books from your local bookstore and help grads celebrate a new chapter in their lives!