Daniel Riley (Little, Brown)
What a trip this novel is, the story of a whip-smart Vassar grad named Suzy who, facing a life of respectability, does the responsible thing and ducks out to southern California to be a stewardess like her older sister. It’s the early 1970s, and so things get weird really fast. Is Suzy really going to get wrapped up in a drug smuggling scheme? Yes! Then there’s all those skyjackings that were going on… It’s Riley’s debut novel (full disclosure: I’ve worked with him on other projects) and it’s the perfect balance of grit and gloss. —Jonathan Segura, executive editor.
Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
Dav Pilkey (Graphix)
In the third of this comic-style series for middle graders, the eponymous hero is half-dog, half-man. Plus he’s a cop, whose nemesis is a cat criminal named Petey. On a more existential level, Dog Man has to wrestle with his baser canine instincts (like the desire to tinkle on the carpet) as he battles crime. It’s not just my internal 10-year-old who finds Pilkey’s blend of complete absurdity, wordplay, and pee references hilarious—it’s every bit my adult self, too. —Matia Burnett, assistant editor, children’s
Gabe Habash (Coffee House)
The titular character of this debut novel by Habash, PW’s deputy reviews editor, is a Midwestern college senior, an orphan, and above all else on earth, a wrestler with a single-minded determination to “win the Division IV NCAA Championship in the 133 weight class.” Now, perhaps you’re thinking, “Why the hell would I want to spend almost 300 pages with a wrestler?” I wrestled in junior high and would have avoided myself if I could. But, don’t worry. In this novel, wrestling is really a pretext to introduce us to a powerful and engrossing new consciousness—Stephen’s struggle is to come to grips with the grinding willfulness that both enables and hobbles everything he does. Plus, Habash’s prose is dryly hilarious. Take this book to the beach and read it while you sweat out your excess water weight. —Craig Morgan Teicher, director of digital operations
Full Wolf Moon
Lincoln Child (Doubleday)
I’ve enjoyed Relic and other books in Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s bestselling thriller series featuring FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast. I got a real kick out of Preston’s Blasphemy, about a particle physicist’s attempts to prove the existence of God. Now I’m curious to try one of Child’s solo efforts, the fifth entry in his series starring paranormal investigator Jeremy Logan, which PW starred. Werewolves in the Adirondacks—sounds like fun to me. —Peter Cannon, senior editor
Priestdaddy: A Memoir
Patricia Lockwood (Riverhead)
Patricia Lockwood is a delightfully eccentric poet, so it should come as no surprise that she is the product of an equally eccentric family. And her memoir is full of other surprises. For one, she’s the daughter of a gun-toting, feline-hating, Baileys Irish Cream–sipping Catholic priest (let that sink in for a second). In Priestdaddy, we get a rollicking inside view of this unique family dynamic. The image of her dad seated in the living room conducting a family meeting in only his underwear is hard to forget: “He adopted his most lordly and intimidating position, with thighs spread so wide it seemed like there might be a gateway to another dimension between them.” —Annie Coreno, reviews editor
October: The Story of the Russian Revolution
China Miéville (Verso)
For four decades now, the world has been bludgeoned by the demands of neoliberalism’s technocratic, managerial austerity politics. Many of us seem to have lost the capacity to believe that a better world is possible and to imagine bringing that world into existence. A century ago that possibility didn’t seem so far-fetched; the revolution is “a tragically lost opportunity and an ongoing source of inspiration,” as our review says. —Alex Crowley, reviews editor
Things That Happened Before the Earthquake
Chiara Barzini (Doubleday)
What’s better for a summer read than a fish out of water? Italian writer Chiara Barzini’s literary debut follows the travails of Eugenia, a privileged Roman teenager whose free-spirited parents move the family to L.A. right after the 1992 riots. They don’t much understand American culture, though, and naively plop Eugenia into a public high school rife with gangs. She’s a feisty, singular character: watch her navigate her new life, with the 1994 earthquake as catalyst. —Louisa Ermelino, reviews director
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Transit)
I recommend Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu, a sprawling, striking epic that traces a curse on one Ugandan family’s bloodline through the centuries. It reminded me of some of my favorite long novels from the past few years, including Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings, Eka Kurniawan’s Beauty Is a Wound, and Annie Proulx’s Barkskins. —Gabe Habash, deputy reviews editor
Jeff VanderMeer (MCD)
About that thing on the cover—is it a genetically modified bird-of-paradise? Some cousin of the odoriferous corpse flower? I was intrigued from the moment I saw it, as is Rachel, the postapocalyptic scavenger who finds the improbably sentient and mutable creature—who “smelled of beach reeds on lazy summer afternoons and, beneath the sea salt, of passionflowers”—while picking through the fur of the gargantuan flying bear that terrorizes her devastated city. And then things start to get weird. —Carolyn Juris, features editor
Letters to His Neighbor
Marcel Proust, trans. from the French by Lydia Davis (New Directions)
I just started reading this unique collection, which gathers together Proust’s surviving correspondence with another tenant in the apartment building he lived in. The selections here weren’t written for literary posterity, but to accomplish a very specific aim: lessening the noise from the dentistry practice, belonging to his correspondent’s husband, right above the notoriously noise-allergic Proust’s head. The notes I’ve read so far are drenched in style, courtesy, and hilarious passive-aggression. —Everett Jones, reviews editor
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
Al Franken (Twelve)
I think this memoir by Senator Al Franken will be the buzz book of the summer among my friends, who, like me, grew up watching Saturday Night Live and remember well the positive affirmations of Franken’s famous character Stuart Smalley. Franken’s no-holds-barred depiction of how he evolved from a comedian and satirist into a politician demonstrates why he’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and, doggone it, why people like him. —Claire Kirch, Midwest correspondent
Amelia Gray (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Gray's most recent book, the story collection Gutshot, was weird as hell and as visceral as its title. Whose life would be better for her to fictionalize, then, than that of notorious mother of modern dance Isadora Duncan? An openly bisexual communist and atheist in an era that condemned all three, Duncan was famous for wearing long, flowing scarves even up until her death, when her scarf got caught in one of the axles of the car she was riding in. Flung from the vehicle, Duncan died of a broken neck—a tragic end that will surely make for a riveting finale in Gray's novel. —John Maher, assistant news editor
Edoardo Nesi, trans. from the Italian by Alice Kilgarriff (Other Press)
Politician and author Nesi has chronicled Italy’s devolution from economic powerhouse to near pauper in numerous books. This new novel takes a more sanguine view and returns to a time when romance and dreams ruled Italy, serving up the tale of three Tuscan textile entrepreneurs and the women they love in the 1970s. —Ed Nawotka, bookselling and international news editor
The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South
John T. Edge (Penguin Press)
This superb cultural history is “a work of remembering through food,” writes Edge, a James Beard Award–winning writer, columnist for Garden & Gun, and director of the Southern Foodway Alliance at the University of Mississippi. The stories he covers—of the women who cooked church dinners during the 1970s civil rights era, the 1970s back-to-the-land movements, the boom of fast-food restaurants such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, the culinary renaissance of the 1990s—are as rich as potlikker, the savory juices from boiled collard greens. —Mark Rotella, senior editor
Philippe Djian, trans. from the French by Michael Katims (Other Press)
I have to admit, reading a first person account of a female rape victim, written by a male author, is a jarring experience. Should a man be allowed to write about the experience of a woman being raped? Djian’s darkly comic heroine is blunt about her trauma—which opens the book. Witnessing how she processes the sexual assault is compelling and complicated. I often squirmed while reading. Yet read this book expecting to laugh. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable while laughing. —Seth Satterlee, reviews editor
Kyo Maclear, illus. by Kenard Pak (Tundra)
Have you ever felt (recently, perhaps) that things have changed in dramatic, even unsettling, ways? And that not everyone fully appreciates the significance of those changes? Then this is the book for you, a smart allegory about a strange fog that descends on an island. One local bird is unnerved by the development; others simply accept it. It’s the picture book equivalent of “this is not normal,” and it places a premium on paying attention. —John A. Sellers, children’s reviews editor
Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight out of This Wild and Glorious Life
Jen Hatmaker (Thomas Nelson)
In her first book since publicly supporting same-sex marriage, Hatmaker considers her evolution as a Christian and as an author through stories on doubt, disappointment, and perseverance. The HGTV star and bestselling author of 2015’s For the Love puts a light touch on issues such as inclusivity, emotional pain, and the weight of motherhood, offering a distinct voice that Christians and non-Christians alike will find relatable. —Emma Koonse Wenner, religion news editor
The People We Hate at the Wedding
Grant Ginder (Flatiron)
Ginder takes family dysfunction to its hysterical limit in this joyously ribald novel about siblings Alice and Paul begrudgingly attending the lavish wedding of their half-sister, Eloise, in England. Lovesick Alice and Paul—both in doomed relationships—see Eloise as the snotty daughter of a rich dad, and Donna, their mother, as a coldhearted widow who ditched all remnants of their father after his death. During the boozy pre-wedding days, the resentment and secrets come tumbling out in outbursts and hilariously bad decisions.
N.J. Campbell (Two Dollar Radio)
Audio analyst Amrapali Anna Singh claims a man has offered her a very large amount of money to analyze some audio recordings. The core of the book is Singh’s transcription of the recordings themselves, in which an intrepid unnamed journalist recounts a series of strange and dangerous journeys in search of the so-called City of Dreams. This strange little book, full of momentum, intrigue, and weighty ideas to mull over, is a bona fide literary page-turner.
Do Not Become Alarmed
Maile Meloy (Riverhead)
Two families go ashore while on a tropical cruise, only to find their children have disappeared. The parents turn into helpless basket cases, while the kids stumble onto a freshly dug grave, get kidnapped by a pair of drug-dealing brothers, hold on for dear life during a high-speed car chase, and get separated while on a freight train headed toward Nicaragua. This is an addictive, suspenseful read.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Arundhati Roy (Knopf)
When an abandoned infant girl appears amid urban litter outside the walls of Old Delhi and two women, Anjum and Tilo, have reasons to try to claim her, all their lives converge. Roy shifts fluidly between moods and time frames, juxtaposing first person and omniscient narration with “found” documents to weave her characters’ stories with India’s social and political tensions, particularly the violent retaliations to Kashmir’s long fight for self-rule. A haunting, complex novel about a bewilderingly beautiful, contradictory, and broken world.
The Seventh Function of Language
Laurent Binet, trans. from the French by Sam Taylor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
It’s Paris, 1980, and Roland Barthes has just been hit by a laundry van—but was it murder? Binet’s (HHhH) wild ride through the secret history of the French intelligentsia includes appearances by Derrida, Eco, Foucault, and Kristeva, as detective Jacques Bayard searches for a lost manuscript about the mythic “seventh function of language.”
Alain Mabanckou, trans. from the French by Helen Stevenson (New Press)
A small book with a big narrative voice, this wacky, vibrant novel follows the misfortunes and adventures of an orphan whose “kilometrically extended name” means, “Thanks be to God, the black Moses is born on the earth of our ancestors.” Moses escapes his orphanage in Loango and heads for the city of Pointe-Noire, where he joins a gang of petty thieves, is taken in by a kindly Zairean madam, and strikes out on a last noble and violent quest worthy of his long name.
Made for Love
Alissa Nutting (Ecco)
As she did in Tampa, her novel about an eighth-grade teacher’s affair with a student, Nutting deftly exploits the comic potential of perverse attachments, in this case involving sex dolls, aquatic mammals, and technological devices. Hazel has fled her controlling husband, Byron, CEO of ominous tech giant Gogol Industries, for her father’s trailer park home, only to discover he’s bought a sex doll. Hazel hopes to avoid Byron and forge a new, unsurveilled life.
The Burning Girl
Claire Messud (Norton)
In her first novel since The Woman Upstairs, Messud follows two childhood friends, Julia and Cassie, in their hometown of Royston, Mass. But after Cassie makes a life-threatening journey and damages their relationship, the two drift apart. Messud brings her incisive psychological skills to this blend of coming-of-age story and fable.
Pretend We Are Lovely
Noley Reid (Tin House)
Set in Blacksburg, Va., in 1982, Reid’s tense and poignant novel revolves around food. All four members of the Sobel family have complicated relationships to it: mother Francie counts calories and exercises; her 12-year-old daughter, Vivvy, models herself after Francie; father Tate snacks on refrigerated raw dough and is semi-estranged from Francie; and for 10-year-old Enid, food is an equal source of comfort and shame. The death of the Sobels’ son seven years earlier and Francie’s sudden disappearance drive this complex family drama to its conclusion.
Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau)
Apollo Kagwa has just gotten used to being a conscientious, diaper-changing dad when his family is torn apart in a shocking scene. In his quest to put his family back together, Apollo journeys into New York City’s hidden enchanted places, encountering old magic, monsters, and wicked fathers. Treading in the unpredictable realm of dark fairy tales, LaValle brings his unique brand of trippy fabulism to this gripping story about a devoted father’s confrontation with evil.
Shadow of the Lions
Christopher Swann (Algonquin)
Swann’s noirish mystery, set at a prestigious boys’ boarding school named Blackburne, centers on the unsolved disappearance of student Fritz Davenport, the roommate and best friend of Matthias Glass. Ten years after, when Matthias, now a declining novelist, returns to Blackburne as an English teacher, he finds himself pulled back to Fritz’s disappearance and the guilt he feels for the role he played.
Adriana Trigiani (Harper)
Bestselling author Trigiani has a huge fan base, and her latest, an Italian-American family saga that starts out in South Philadelphia during the post-WWII boom, will have them lining up. Of course, there’s a mountaintop village in Italy, an urgent telegram, and an orphaned nephew who must choose between devotion to his fiancé, the family (and the family business), and following his dream of the theater. Romance, secrets, Shakespeare: pure Trigiani.
Edited by Lee Child (Simon & Schuster)
Each of the 11 collaborative tales in this high-concept anthology matches a top-rank female thriller writer with a male counterpart. Pairings include Diana Gabaldon (Jamie Fraser) and Steve Berry (Cotton Malone), Lisa Jackson (Regan Pescoli) and John Sandford (Virgil Flowers), and Gayle Lynds (Liz Sansborough) and David Morrell (Rambo).
No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories
Lee Child (Delacorte)
Among the 12 stories in this collection covering much of vigilante Jack Reacher’s career is “Too Much Time,” the one tale not previously published, in which Reacher witnesses a robbery and deftly halts the thief in small-town Maine. The authorities want a statement, but soon Reacher’s charged with “felonious involvement”—a classic Child mash-up of deduction and action.
The Marsh King’s Daughter
Karen Dionne (Putnam)
A Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a child born to a monster and an innocent inspired this psychological thriller, Dionne’s hardcover debut. Helen Pelletier, who lives in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, goes in search of her father, an escaped convict, who kidnapped her mother and kept the young woman captive for years.
The Good Widow
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (Lake Union)
Fans of Joy Fielding will appreciate this thriller’s fast pacing and sympathetic main character, a California school teacher who investigates the mysterious death of her husband in a car accident on Maui, in the company of another woman, when he was supposed to be on a business trip to Kansas.
The Woman from Prague
Rob Hart (Polis)
Hart’s atmospheric fourth Ash McKenna noir takes the amateur PI to Prague, where he meets a latter-day Mephistopheles calling himself Roman and claiming to be an emissary of a shadowy unnamed U.S. government agency. A botched attempt to retrieve a thumb drive plunges Ash and Roman into murky international intrigue and corruption.
Bibliomysteries: Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores
Edited by Otto Penzler (Pegasus Crime)
Sure to appeal to book lovers, this anthology contains 15 crime stories by such genre heavyweights as Jeffery Deaver, C.J. Box, Thomas H. Cook, Laura Lippman, and Anne Perry.
The Painted Queen
Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess (Morrow)
Fans of Elizabeth Peters will welcome the late bestselling author’s final volume in her Amelia Peabody series, completed by her friend Joan Hess, author of the Claire Malloy mysteries. Set in Egypt in 1912, the book centers on an iconic Nefertiti bust.
Party Girls Die in Pearls: An Oxford Girl Mystery
Plum Sykes (Harper)
Fictional Christminster College in 1985 Oxford provides the setting for Sykes’s series launch, a fizzy cocktail of satire and style, in which Ursula Flowerbutton, a spunky first-year student and aspiring reporter from Gloucestershire, becomes instant best friends with a wealthy American heiress—and stumbles on a corpse during her first tutorial.
Ten Dead Comedians
Fred Van Lente (Quirk)
Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None meets a Comedy Central roast in bestselling comics author Van Lente’s mystery debut.
Sarah Hegger (Zebra)
Hegger (Nobody’s Princess) invites readers into the delightfully quirky small town of Ghost Falls, Utah, in the warmly sincere first book of a contemporary romance series. Hegger’s unflinching, candid portrayal of interpersonal and generational communication elevates the story to the sublime. Shunning clichés and contrived circumstances, she uses realistic, relatable situations to create a world that readers will want to visit time and again.
Harper Sloan (Pocket)
Sloan (When I’m with You) hits it out of the park with her first Coming Home contemporary western romance, the tale of a lonely cowboy and the hometown sweetheart who has never stopped loving him. Maverick is a perfect hero: complicated, deeply damaged, yet blooming with the new promise of love. Leighton is appealing and real, as are a strong supporting cast of characters whom readers will be glad to follow into sequels.
Monica Collier (Red Press)
Collier infuses a sweet innocence and old-fashioned values into this inspirational contemporary, which has two flawed protagonists trying to move past a boatload of issues. Their attraction to each other is gradually developed and based on common values, such as their mutual interest in improving their relationships with God. Faith, destiny, and the power of personal choice make this an uplifting read.
From Duke till Dawn
Eva Leigh (Avon)
Leigh’s magnificent Regency-era erotic romantic thriller, the first installment in the London Underground series, crosses class boundaries with abandon as a duke learns that his long-ago mysterious lover was a criminal scamming him for his money. A variety of weapons, plenty of riffraff, a couple of wanton and witty friends, and a hint of kink make this a fast-paced and seductive treasure.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Amanda Quick (Berkley)
Quick’s ambitious story sparkles with wit as she transports readers back to the golden age of Hollywood. A reporter hoping for a celebrity scoop finds her source has been drowned in a hotel pool; the hotel owner, once a famous stage magician, joins her to seek the killer. Quick's splendid use of misdirection will keep readers guessing in this brilliant work of historical romantic suspense.
So You Want to Be a Robot
A. Merc Rustad (Lethe)
Swaying freely between science fiction and fantasy, diverse in setting and tone, this debut collection by prolific short story author Rustad is creative and often whimsical. An element of queerness enhances many of the stories, always delivered as unobtrusively and naturally as hair color. Each piece in this unmissable collection shimmers with bright explorations of love, loss, and the quest for hope.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
Theodora Goss (Saga)
Goss's long-awaited debut novel brings her gothic-inflected fantasies roaring into the steampunk era as the "monstrous" daughters of famous villains such as Moreau, Hyde, and Frankenstein band together to assert their humanity and ownership of their stories. This is a tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with wit and insight.
Jack Campbell (Ace)
Launching a trilogy in his Lost Fleet universe, the always-reliable Campbell delivers an exciting tale of interstellar adventure. Campbell's skillfully constructed tale keeps a riveting pace, making each character's personal stakes into fundamental threads woven into a high-energy whole.
Food of the Gods: A Rupert Wong Novel
Cassandra Khaw (Abaddon)
Khaw’s first full-length novel pits Rupert Wong, bureaucrat and cannibal chef, against some bellicose deities who value him for both his culinary skills and his links to the Chinese hell. This amazing book is perfect for foodies, readers of modernized mythology and light supernaturals, and fans of the smart, underpowered survivor who wins in the face of cosmic might and mundane brawn.
City of Miracles
Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway)
Bennett concludes his Divine Cities trilogy (City of Stairs, City of Blades) with a stunning and heartbreaking tale of sacrifice amid magic and spy craft. The bittersweet ending, which elegantly and definitively caps off the novel and the trilogy, will have readers reaching for the tissues.
Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean
Morten Strøksnes, trans. from the Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally (Knopf)
An epic fishing trip reels in fascinating sea lore in this briny eco-adventure about Norwegian journalist Strøksnes’s yearlong quest to catch a Greenland shark, a huge creature, often blind from eye worms and spectacularly long-lived; its flesh contains a toxin that renders those who eat it “shark drunk”: incoherent, hallucinatory, and unsteady on their feet.
I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad
Souad Mekhennet (Holt)
Washington Post correspondent Mekhennet offers a spellbinding fusion of history, memoir, and reportage while untangling the roots of Islamic radicalism with this enthralling account of her personal experience as a journalist and Muslim on assignment in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
My Soul Looks Back
Jessica B. Harris (Scribner)
Author and educator Harris begins her lively memoir with her young adult life in New York during the early 1970s and the remarkable individuals who surrounded her, including notable black writers such as James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison.
Beach House Cookbook: Easy Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent
Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin’s)
Atlanta-based bestselling novelist Andrews (The Weekenders, Deep Dish) collects recipes inspired by casual Southern coastal cuisine and beach-house living.
Defiance: The Extraordinary Life of Lady Anne Barnard
Stephen Taylor (Norton)
Historian Taylor (Commander) delivers a page-turning biography of a woman who knew everybody worth knowing in late 18th-century England. Barnard turned down a dozen marriage proposals before marrying for love; she also wrote a famous ballad, lived in South Africa, and raised a biracial stepdaughter back in England. Readers will finish wanting to know more about a woman whose life could easily have filled three volumes.
The Making of Jane Austen
Devoney Looser (Johns Hopkins Univ.)
Among the flood of releases marking the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death, this study examines how she became one of the world’s best-loved authors. Austenites will be fascinated to learn of the historical inaccuracies in some of the very earliest illustrations of Austen’s novels, Harpo Marx’s—possible—role in bringing Pride and Prejudice to Hollywood, and the right’s long history of Austen appropriations.
The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny
Michael Wallis (Liveright)
The Donner Party’s journey of 1846–1847 is largely remembered for the rumors of cannibalism that have unfurled across subsequent generations. Wallis gets into the lurid aspects of the ill-fated party, but he also reveals this wagon train’s family dynamics and how they fit into the wider context of American westward expansion and settler colonialism. If you’re the outdoorsy, hiking type, this is for you.
The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight
Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy (Bloomsbury)
Investigative reporters Scott-Clark and Levy share the deep insights they gleaned through access to al-Qaeda’s inner circle as well as interviews with other key figures and newly declassified materials. The work reveals information kept under close guard by the U.S. government and exposes the many ways in which government actions have fueled terrorism around the globe.
Independence Cake: A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons, Whose True History Is Unfortunately Unknown
Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Giselle Potter (Random House/Schwartz & Wade)
Hopkinson serves up a historical picture book inspired by Amelia Simmons, author of the first American cookbook. This 18th-century tale follows orphan Simmons from her stint as a housemaid to the baking of her confectionary tribute for President Washington.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown)
The Caldecott Medalist puts his spin on another classic folktale: the story of three scrawny goats who outsmart one voracious troll. In Pinkney’s retelling, featuring a dramatic gatefold for the final showdown, the bully gets his comeuppance and a measure of redemption.
Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel
Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri (Dial)
Rubin and Salmieri return with a sequel to their picture book comedy, Dragons Love Tacos. When the world runs out of tacos, a band of hungry dragons dreams up a solution—one that calls for a dash of time travel, but absolutely no spicy salsa.
Lemony Snicket, illus. by Lisa Brown (Roaring Brook/Porter)
Snicket turns the childhood pet story belly up in this poignant look at the afterlife of a goldfish, while Brown’s muted watercolor-and-ink art reflects the somber tone.
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World
Chelsea Clinton, illus. by Alexandra Boiger (Philomel)
Activist and humanitarian Chelsea Clinton presents 13 trailblazing women throughout American history—from Harriet Tubman to Sonia Sotomayor—who defied gender barriers and changed society for the better.
Blue Sky White Stars
Sarvinder Naberhaus, illus. by Kadir Nelson (Dial)
Just in time for Independence Day, Naberhaus and Nelson craft a patriotic picture book celebrating America’s rich and diverse iconography, with the flag as their launching point.
The Seashore Book
Charlotte Zolotow, illus. by Wendell Minor (Charlesbridge)
Zolotow’s second-person narration invites readers to join a mother and son—who has never experienced the ocean—in their daydream of an afternoon at the beach. The classic picture book, illustrated with Minor’s crisp gouaches and watercolor, finds a new generation of readers in this 25th anniversary edition.
Shannon Hale, illus. by LeUyen Pham (First Second)
The fraught, clique-ruled terrain of elementary school is brought to life in Hale’s graphic memoir, with digital cartoons by Pham. Imagination proves to be a form of agency and solace for the writer-in-making.
The Shadow Cipher
Laura Ruby (Walden Pond)
Ruby’s page-turning puzzle adventure unfolds in a steampunk version of New York City. When siblings Tess and Theo Biedermann learn that their landmark home has been bought by a developer, and will likely be demolished, they embark on an epic treasure hunt.
Beyond the Bright Sea
Lauren Wolk (Dutton)
Following up her Newbery Honor-winning debut, Wolf Hollow, Wolk weaves a period mystery set in the wilds of the Elizabeth Islands. Orphan Crow is content with her quiet life, until the sight of a fire on a neighboring island sparks a quest to discover her origins.
Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.
Edited by Betsy Bird (Viking)
From disastrous road trips to tips for aspiring jokesters, librarian and blogger Bird’s anthology brings together an all-star lineup of female writers, including Cece Bell, Libba Bray, Mitali Perkins, and Raina Telgemeier, in a variety of formats.
5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior
Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel, illus. by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun (Random House)
Immersive worldbuilding, explosive action, and sharp social insight distinguish this graphic series opener from the Siegel brothers, about a young trio fighting to save five planets from extinction. The key to their salvation lies in lighting five magical beacons.
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad)
In the latest novel from the Newbery Honor author, young Clayton copes with the loss of his grandfather and fellow musician, Cool Papa Byrd. His odyssey, set beneath the streets of New York City, brings him closer to the heart of the blues music he loves.
Tumble & Blue
Cassie Beasley (Dial)
Friendship and fate intertwine as Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery set out to undo their ancestors’ curse and face a deadly alligator, in Beasley’s new tale.
Thick as Thieves
Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow)
Set in the world of her Queen’s Thief novels, Turner’s standalone epic follows Kamet, a slave with ambitions. When his Mede master is poisoned, Kamet is hurtled into a perilous journey.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster)
Han’s romantic trilogy comes to a close as Lara Jean, now a high school senior, frets over her impending departure for college and what it will mean for her relationship with Peter.
Once and for All
Sarah Dessen (Viking)
In Dessen’s latest teen romance, cynical Louna finds an unexpected match while pitching in with her family’s wedding business over the summer.
A Court of Wings and Ruin
Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury)
The third entry in Maas’s bestselling Court of Thorns and Roses series finds huntress Feyre pulled back into the chaos and political unrest of the Spring Court. While trying to get to the bottom of Tamlin’s scheme, Feyre readies herself against an imminent invasion.
The Pearl Thief
Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion)
In this prequel to Code Name Verity, Lady Julia Beaufort-Stuart is looking forward to a lazy summer break at her grandfather’s Scottish estate, when a suspicious accident and a disappearance set her on the course for intrigue.
The Lines We Cross
Randa Abdel-Fattah (Scholastic Press)
Abdel-Fattah’s timely, issue-driven romance, first released in Australia, explores the subject of immigration through the budding relationship between Michael, the son of nationalist parents, and Mina, an Afghan refugee.
Flame in the Mist
Renée Ahdieh (Putnam)
Ahdieh’s fantasy series kicks off as 17-year-old Mariko, the daughter of a respected samurai, survives an assassination attempt and seeks revenge by infiltrating a notorious gang under the guise of a boy.