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

by Megan Ciskowski, Assistant Publicist

Check out August new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture Books

A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story written by Caren Stelson and illustrated by Akira Kusaka

When the atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945, Sachiko’s home turned to rubble. Yet a delicate, green, leaf-shaped bowl—which once held her family’s meals—survived intact and came to serve as a vessel of hope and peace.

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Praise for A Bowl Full of Peace

★”[A] symbol of survival. . . . Kusaka’s illustrations effectively focus on Sachiko’s family and the ways they used the bowl to create an orderly family life even in the midst of, and after, a devastating war.”—starred, The Horn Book Magazine

★”A powerful entry point for discussing the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the importance of peace and disarmament. Stunning.”—starred, Booklist

★”A heartbreaking but essential perspective on war and survival.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“A useful resource that could be tied to the International Day of Peace.”—School Library Journal

Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off! written and illustrated by Chris Monroe

Oh, no! The space station’s Moon Malt machine is broken. Chico Bon Bon blasts off with Clark the elephant and his handy tool collection to fix this crisis of galactic proportions!

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Praise for Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off!

“[L]ighthearted and silly but has enough heart to merit space on the shelves of space lovers, handy kids, and anyone looking for a giggle and a smile. . . . A fun and satisfying journey.” —Kirkus Reviews

Middle Grade –New in Paperback

The Bolds on Vacation written by Julian Clary and illustrated by David Roberts

The Bolds are enjoying family vacation by the sea and making all sorts of new friends—until the family’s pet dog goes missing! Can the hyenas rescue their pet and salvage their vacation, while masquerading as humans?

Graphic Novels

Out on a Limb (Cassandra: Animal Psychic Book 2) written by Isabelle Bottier and illustrated by Hélène Canac

Cassandra’s trying to find a new home for a dog that’s saying good-bye to its owner. But that takes more than talking to animals—it means finding the perfect person.

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Praise for Out on a Limb

“Another fast-paced adventure for animal lovers, with a side of light romance.”—Kirkus Reviews

Super Potato and the Castle of Robots (Super Potato: Book 5) written and illustrated by Artur Laperla

Professor Bolt’s robot threatens to destroy a local mall. Good thing everyone’s favorite spud superhero stops him! When Super Potato goes looking for the sinister inventor, he finds the ultimate enemy . . . Potatech, his own robotic double!

Spread from Super Potato and the Castle of Robots

Lizard in a Zoot Suit written and illustrated by Marco Finnegan

Los Angeles, 1943. Flaca and Cuata have a problem—shaped like a five-foot-tall lizard. The sisters are scrambling to keep a lost member of an unknown underground species away from a corrupt military scientist. But they’re doing it in style.

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Praise for Lizard in a Zoot Suit

“Though the adventure is fast-paced and fun, themes of racism, colonialism, counterculture, and family are all explored. . . . Period pop horror that will lure readers in for important history lessons.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A unique and effective lens through which fans of historical fiction can view the treatment of the ‘other’ and race issues of the 1940s.”—School Library Journal

Lizard in a Zoot Suit is a beautifully rendered, heartbreaking, and insightful graphic adventure.”—John Jennings, author Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

“An entertaining and meaningful story. The bicultural characters and diverse Mexican American setting are a fun entry point into some serious Chicano history, the era of the 1940s Zoot Suit Riots. Put on your tacuche and your tando, and get ready for Lizard in a Zoot Suit!”—Lalo Alcaraz, author of Latino USA: A Cartoon History


How to Live on the Edge written by Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Cayenne learns that her aunt, who raised her, has the same gene mutation that caused her mom’s fatal cancer—and discovers the challenges of living life to the fullest when death is in your DNA.

Praise for How to Live on the Edge

“An interesting, informative narrative whose focus on the BRCA gene mutation marks it as an important addition to young adult literature.”—Booklist

“Readers will root for Cayenne despite the many mistakes she makes.”—School Library Journal

“A gift to young readers.”—Catherine Linka, author of What I Want You to See, A Girl Called Fearless, and A Girl Undone

“Told with humor and truth . . .”—Jennifer Longo, author of Six Feet Over It and Up to this Pointe


School Days written by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly, photographs by Shelley Rotner

There’s a lot to do at school! Bright photos of a wide range of young kids and simple text offer young readers a look what happens throughout the school year.

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Praise for School Days

“Kids who have never been to school will surely look forward to all the fun depicted here.”—Kirkus Reviews

Athletes Who Made a Difference series

This graphic nonfiction series presents true sports stories of grit, leadership, and resistance. Follow legendary athletes from their early years to pro careers, and see how they pushed to change the world around them.

Crayola ® Colorful Biomes series

Red deserts, gold prairies, green forests, and more await in this colorful look at world biomes. Readers explore the climate, plants, and animals of six environments, while a zoom-in feature highlights the most vivid details.

COVID-19 series

Readers take a close look at the COVID-19 crisis. This high/low series helps students understand the virus and its impacts, and it offers a hopeful view of what a post-COVID-19 future might be like.

Garfield’s ® Belly Laughs series

What two things can Garfield never eat for breakfast? Lunch and dinner! Laugh your way through Garfield-themed jokes in popular formats such as riddles, puns, and tongue twisters, along with jokes on Garfield’s favorite topics (including food!).

Sesame Street ® Loves Community Helpers series

These low-level introductions celebrate community helpers with the help of beloved characters from Sesame Street. Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, and others explore this core curriculum with the signature charm and fun of the Muppets from Sesame Street.

The Gross Human Body in Action: Augmented Reality series

Get totally grossed out with amazing augmented reality experiences! Pop a zit, watch boogers form, see how different foods change your poop. With three to five AR experiences per book, this series showcases the marvelous and gross human body.

More announcements on the blog.

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