Happy Book Birthday: New Picture Books, Middle Grade, Nonfiction, and YA

By Libby Stille, Publicist

Check out October new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture books

A Map into the World, written by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Seo Kim

Kao Kalia Yang’s debut picture book features a young Hmong American girl who seeks out beauty everywhere. She then shares all she’s seen with her grieving widower neighbor and they find a true connection.

Praise for A Map into the World

“Contemplative, curious, and kind.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“A distinctive story that weaves together threads of family life, community and culture, the natural world, and the power of stories.”—starred, Publishers Weekly

“Powerful, beautiful, and transcendent.”—Newbery medalist and New York Times bestselling author Matt de la Peña

“With the clear, careful, and beautiful language we’ve come to expect from her, Kao Kalia Yang unfurls her first children’s book, a journey waiting to reward our every step.”—Bao Phi, author of A Different Pond

“The world of this book is filled with wonder and sorrow and happiness. Kao Kalia Yang’s lovely, gentle story will keep readers young and old returning to these pages again and again.”—Alison McGhee, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Someday

Eek, You Reek! Poems about Animals That Stink, Stank, Stunk, written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by Eugenia Nobati


Readers will be delighted by the malodorous melodies of poems calling out the different pungent attributes of a full cast of foul-smelling creatures.

Spread from Eek, You Reek!

Praise for Eek, You Reek!

“[T]he foolish foulness may just hook those who think poetry stinks. Rancid rhymes and syncopated stank and plenty of eeeew just for you.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Middle grade

A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine


After his mother goes missing, twelve-year-old science lover Finn discovers that the women in his family are time travelers. To find his mom, he’ll have to put his trust in something bigger than logic.

Praise for A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity

“This is an incredible book, no matter which time universe you’re in. I couldn’t put it down. One of my favorite debut novels of the year.”—Erin Entrada Kelly, New York Times bestselling author and 2018 Newbery Medal winner

“This novel will stretch your both your brain and your heart at the same time. Find the thread and jump in. You’ll be so glad that you did.”—Kathi Appelt, author of Angel Thieves and 2013 National Book Award Finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

“[A]n excellent adventure that pulls at the heart as much as the mind.”—Fran Wilde, award-winning author of The Bone Universe series and Riverland

“[W]ill resonate with Madeleine L’Engle fans.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Valentine’s debut is an emotionally compelling and heartfelt tale of love and family that is reminiscent of Tuck Everlasting and A Wrinkle in Time.”—Booklist

YA fiction

Panic by Sasha Dawn


When aspiring musician Madelaine finds a poetry fragment that helps her finish a song she’s writing, she tracks down the author online in hopes of starting a collaboration. But there’s more to the situation than she realizes.

Praise for Panic

“Compelling and captivating.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] sweet book with a touching story line that will likely strike a chord with teens going through any type of family drama.”—School Library Journal

Listen to Sasha Dawn read the first chapter here

Topside, written by J. N. Monk and illustrated by Harry Bogosian


When Jo, a headstrong maintenance technician, makes a mistake that destabilizes her planet’s core, she knows only one way to fix things: leaving her underground home for a trip to the planet’s dangerous, unruly surface.

Spread from Topside

Praise for Topside

“An intriguing mix of adventure and wonder and the mundane, both quietly epic and very personal. Wonderful art. Highly recommended.”—Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation

“Vibrant and fun, Topside blasts off on a colorful journey across an alien world.”—Katie Shanahan, Silly Kingdom

Topside is an engrossing adventure buoyed by lush sci-fi landscapes and unlikely friendships. Monk and Bogosian have crafted an imaginative odyssey that calls to mind the works of Hayao Miyazaki.”—Kristen Gudsnuk, Making Friends

“Thoughtful, woke, and enjoyably propulsive. The world Monk and Bogosian describe is terrible, but such an enjoyable place to spend an afternoon.”—Zander Cannon, Kaijumax

“As quest stories go, the world building in this one is impressive. . . . A dystopian sf graphic novel perfect for readers new to the genre.”—Booklist

“Immersive, mysterious, and just the right amount of trippy.”—Kirkus Reviews


Garfield’s ® Guide to Creating Your Own Comic Strip by Marco Finnegan

© Paws. All Rights Reserved.

Readers will learn what goes into making a comic strip—from creating characters to adding visual details and lettering—all while enjoying examples from Garfield comic strips and hilarious commentary from Garfield himself.

Praise for Garfield’s ® Guide to Creating Your Own Comic Strip

“[A] cheery guide.”—Kirkus Reviews

Hack Your Cupboard: Make Great Food with What You’ve Got by Alyssa Wiegand and Carla Carreon


With dream dinners for every level of experience, this is the cookbook full of age-specific guidance for anyone who wants to break out of a kitchen rut without breaking too much of a sweat.

Praise for Hack Your Cupboard

“[A] timely, practical resource for newbie cooks.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Insightful, creative, and entertaining, this volume makes for a perfect gift for those who don’t know a colander from a cauliflower.”—Publishers Weekly

Queer, 2nd Edition: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke


Teen life is hard enough, but for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) teens, it can be even harder. This updated, revised edition will help make everything, from crushes to coming out, a little easier.

Praise for Queer, 2nd Edition

“A delightful collection of trustworthy and accurate information that tweens and teens need today, all told in a sort of quirky, sometimes goofy, and always approachable tone. . . a fun, easy to read, and occasionally hilarious guide that should be available on a shelf in every high school library.”—Diane Anderson-Minshall, Editorial Director, The Advocate magazine

“Not every queer kid has easy access to a family member, teacher, counselor, or friend who can help them through the coming-out process. Even when they do, NEWSFLASH, most of us don’t have all the answers! Queer is a great way for a teen, or someone who is trying to mentor or understand a queer teen, to gain some knowledge from a thoughtful, cute perspective.”—Honey Mahogany, Activist, RuPaul’s Drag Race Alumni, Cofounder of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District

“Reading this new edition today I learned more than a few things about our fabulously diverse queer culture, and especially the younger generation, that everyone should know.”—Terry Beswick, Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society Archives and Museum

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