By Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist

Check out September new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture Books

Hair Story written by NoNieqa Ramos and illustrated by Keisha Morris

Preciosa has hair that won’t stay straight, won’t be confined. Rudine’s hair resists rollers, flat irons, and rules. With rhythmic, rhyming verse, this picture book follows two girls—one non-Black Puerto Rican, one Black—as they discover the stories their hair can tell.

Spread from Hair Story in which the girls admire their hair in the mirror.

Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Craftiest Christmas Ever! written and illustrated by Chris Monroe

Chico Bon Bon’s epic Christmas party is three days away! Is our intrepid monkey ready? Of course not! But thanks to his trusty tool belt and plenty of ingenuity, Chico helps his friends decorate, turns a pile of junk into a bundle of gifts, and finishes preparing for the party in the nick of time. There’s lots of fun and holiday cheer to go around in this new addition to the Monkey with a Tool Belt series!

Spread from Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Craftiest Christmas Ever!

A Peek at Beaks: Tools Birds Use by Sara Levine and illustrated by Kate Slater

What kind of bird has a beak like a jackhammer? A woodpecker! What kind has a beak like a straw? A hummingbird! This playful picture book keeps readers guessing as they discover how birds’ beaks resemble—and can be used like—tools.

Spread from A Peek at Beaks which reveals a hummingbird.

Praise for A Peek at Beaks

★”[A]n entertaining and informative introduction to the world of birds and how they survive and thrive.”—starred, School Library Journal

“[A] guessing game that will engage young readers. . .A useful addition to the nature shelf.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Levine’s descriptions, roughly a paragraph per bird, are filled with delightful facts and enough details so that an elementary child can understand the explanation behind biodiversity within the bird world. . .a fun introduction to elementary school biology.” — Butler’s Pantry

Night Creatures: Animals That Swoop, Crawl, and Creep while You Sleep by Rebecca E. Hirsch and illustrated by Sonia Possentini

As the sun sets, night creatures wake. They race and chase, dart and leap. A parent and child camp out in their rural backyard, observing the nocturnal animals in this evocative and informative picture book.

Spread from Night Creatures in which mother and child watch the fireflies.

Praise for Night Creatures

“Rhythmic and soothing, just right for a bedtime story. . . . Well executed.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A simple poem accompanies richly painted illustrations.”—School Library Journal

Middle Grade

AfterMath written by Emily Barth Isler

After her brother’s death from a heart defect, Lucy starts seventh grade at a new school—whose students survived a shooting four years ago—and must navigate different kinds of grief and healing.

Praise for AfterMath

“Showing a keen understanding of loss, Isler’s compassionate debut is written with stark honesty, showcasing various responses to tragedy . . .”—Publishers Weekly

“Isler nose-dives into the perhaps taboo topic of school shootings, yet breathes healing, change, and math into the emotional ­catharsis.”—School Library Journal

“This book is a gift to the culture.” —Amy Schumer

“[T]his novel comes pretty close to perfect in its fearless and compassionate exploration of the sorrows, struggles, and hard-won maturing of a spunky twelve-year-old as she deals with the aftermath of loss.”—Judith Viorst, author of The Tenth Good Thing about Barney

AfterMath is gorgeously written, infinitely heart-wrenching, and tragically timely. Lucy’s voice is powerful and distinct. I loved this novel.” —Leslie Margolis, author of GhostedWe Are Party People, and the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries


Where I Belong written by Marcia Argueta Mickelson

Guatemalan American high school senior Millie Vargas struggles to balance her family’s needs with her own ambitions, especially after her mother’s employer, a Senate candidate, uses Millie as a poster child for “deserving” immigrants.

Praise for Where I Belong

★”Full of thought-provoking conversations, messy answers, and lots of heart, this novel’s a quiet knockout. Utterly compelling.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“In Milagros Vargas, author Marcia Argueta Mickelson has brilliantly captured a voice for our times.” —Diana López, author of Lucky Luna

“A thought-provoking book. Filled with courage, Millie will show us the way to a kinder, more compassionate way of being in the world.”—Guadalupe García McCall, Pura Belpré Award-winning author

Graphic Novels

Una vista perfecta (A Perfect View) Libro 3 (Book 3) by Cori Doerrfeld and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld and Tyler Page

Cici is looking forward to camping with her dad and her friend Kendra. But thanks to a forest sprite, nothing goes as planned! Can Cici come to see the magic in surprises? Now in Spanish.

Spread from Una vista perfecta in which Cici visits the beach.

Praise for A Perfect View

“Fans of the earlier books will be excited about Cici’s latest escapade.”—School Library Journal

Artie and the Wolf Moon written and illustrated by Olivia Stephens

Artie Irvin is thrilled to discover she comes from a line of werewolves. But as she dives into her family history and figures out her new abilities, vampires wait in the shadows . . .

Spread from Artie and the Wolf Moon in which Artie attends a party.

Praise for Artie and the Wolf Moon

“A wonderful tale of friendship, family, and forgiveness.”—Booklist

“[P]anels are expertly used to create tension in dramatic moments and excitement that showcases the joyous ones. Readers looking for a story of discovery and healing wrapped in the paranormal will hit the jackpot. A stirring, eye-catching portrayal of growth.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of graphic novels, realistic fiction, and the paranormal will all find something to enjoy in this book.”—School Library Journal

“Heartbreaking and heart mending.” —Priya Huq, Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab

“A book of cycles—love, loss, reunion, redemption. Readers will thoroughly enjoy getting lost in the beautifully rendered forests.” —Wendy Xu, Mooncakes


Come Together, Change the World: A Sesame Street ® Guide to Standing Up for Racial Justice by Jackie Golusky

Elmo and friends learn along with young readers about racial justice. This gentle guide helps kids understand that it is wrong to treat others unfairly because of their race or cultural identity.

Spread from Come Together, Change the World which describes what being an upstander means.

Crayola ® Our Colorful Earth: Celebrating the Natural World by Marie-Therese Miller

Readers explore rainbow mountains, pink sand beaches, and more and learn the science behind some of nature’s most colorful geographical formations.

Spread from Crayola® Our Colorful Earth which describes the pigments in flowers.

Praise for Crayola® Our Colorful Earth

Tracking Tortoises: The Mission to Save a Galápagos Giant by Kate Messner with photographs by Jake Messner

Take a journey to the Galápagos Islands to see Galápagos giant tortoises up close and discover how cutting-edge technology is helping scientists study and protect these gentle giants. Page Plus links in the book lead to videos of scientists in the field.

Spread from Tracking Tortoises which details tortoise anatomy.

Praise for Tracking Tortoises

★ “Messner smoothly introduces her readers to the formation and population of this famous archipelago . . . Science at work in a unique setting.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“[A] vivid picture of not only the giant tortoises of these unique islands but also of the scientists who study animals that will outlive them. . . . Highly recommended for libraries and science classrooms with budding naturalists.”—School Library Journal

Check out the Spanish version of Rastreando tortugas (Tracking Tortoises)!

Robo-Motion: Robots That Move Like Animals by Linda Zajac

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a . . . robo-hummingbird? Meet robots inspired by animals that race through water like fish, run like cheetahs, jump like a kangaroo, swarm through the sky like honeybees, and more!

Spread from Robo-Motion in which a robot is inspired by a crab.

Praise for Robo-Motion

★ “Delightful, motivating, and thought-provoking—a winner for any bookshelf.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Understanding Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS, and the COVID-19 Pandemic by Connie Goldsmith

While many scientists believed influenza would cause the next pandemic, no one was prepared for the new strain of coronavirus that appeared in 2019. Understanding Coronaviruses examines SARS-CoV-2, its origin, its impact on daily life, and how COVID-19 compares to other coronavirus diseases.

Finding Refuge: Real-Life Immigration Stories from Young People by Victorya Rouse

English teacher Victorya Rouse has assembled a collection of true stories told by teens who know firsthand what it means to leave a beloved but unsafe homeland for a distant place where everyone speaks another language.

Praise for Finding Refuge

“[D]etailed, well written, and heartfelt, infusing much-needed humanity into an issue that is often discussed purely through statistics. . . . A beautifully curated anthology presenting the voices of refugees.”—Kirkus Reviews

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