Happy Book Birthday: New Picture books, Middle Grade, YA, GRAPHIC NOVELS, and Nonfiction

By Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist

Check out October new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture Books

From the Tops of the Trees by Kao Kalia Yang and Rachel Wada

A powerful true story of a young girl who has never known life outside a refugee camp and a father determined to help her dream big. At Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, Kalia spends her days playing with cousins, chickens, and dogs. When she asks her father if all of the world is a refugee camp, he climbs with her to the top of a tree so she can see the world beyond the fences that confine them. Yang’s evocative prose is accompanied by atmospheric illustrations from Rachel Wada in a story that encourages readers of all ages and circumstances to believe in their dreams.

Spread from From the Tops of the Trees in which Kalia looks out over the distant hills.

Praise for From the Tops of the Trees

★”Beautiful in its simplicity and elegance, with a hopeful and inspiring message, this story will not soon be forgotten.”—starred, Booklist

★”This story of resilience and generational hope is told in an expressive, straightforward narrative style. A visually striking, compelling recollection.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“[A]n inspiring and universal vision of hope.”—BookPage

“[M]ay be Yang’s most touching, beautifully illustrated by Rachel Wada.” —Pioneer Press

Watch the author videos on our YouTube channel

Picture Book Preview

How to Make a Book (about My Dog) by Chris Barton and illustrated by Sarah Horne

There’s more to a book than just the author and illustrator. Follow the creation of a book (about Ernie the dog) from manuscript to bookshelf in this humorously self-aware picture book.

Spread from How to Make a Book (about My Dog) in which the publishing team is pictured.

Praise for How to Make a Book (about My Dog)

“A master class in how to make a picture book.”—Kirkus Reviews

Watch the author videos on our YouTube channel

Picture Book Preview, Blooper Reel

New in Paperback

Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy by Joshua S. Levy

PSS 118 is just your typical school—except that it’s a rickety old spaceship orbiting Jupiter. When the school is mysteriously attacked, thirteen-year-old Jack receives a cryptic message from his father (the school’s recently-fired-for-tinkering-with-the-ship science teacher). Amidst the chaos, Jack discovers that his dad has built humanity’s first light-speed engine—and given Jack control of it. To save the ship, Jack catapults it hundreds of light-years away and right into the clutches of the first aliens humans have ever seen. School hasn’t just gotten out: it’s gone clear across the galaxy. And now it’s up to Jack and his friends to get everyone home.

Praise for Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy

“[T]his middle-grade action-adventure space opera is just plain fun.”—Booklist

“A perfect bridge for readers looking for a Percy Jackson–esque work of science fiction.”—School Library Journal

“[H]ard to put down and full of laughs.” – Storythreads

Middle Grade

Eighth Grade vs. the Machines by Joshua S. Levy

After the entire population of Earth’s solar system is whisked away by alien technology, Jack and his classmates and teachers aboard the PSS 118 are the only humans left. It’s up to them to find and rescue the rest of humanity—if they can avoid the aliens hunting them down, steer clear of a robot civil war, and figure out who among them might be a traitor.

Praise for Eighth Grade vs. the Machines

“Hilarious, high-stakes, un-put-downable fun.”—Jarrett Lerner, author of the EngiNerds series

“Another amazing trip across the galaxy with the students of PSS 118!”— Monica Tesler, author of the Bounders series

Watch the book trailer on Levy’s YouTube channel

This trailer combines both the first and the second books in the Adventures of the PSS 118 series!

Young Adult

Just Ash by Sol Santana

Ashley Bishop lives in Salem, Massachusetts and is descended from the first victim of the Salem witch trials, Bridget Bishop. He’s also intersex—born with both male and female genitalia. He’s been raised as a boy in accordance with his wishes, but at the beginning of his junior year of high school, Ash gets his first period in front of the entire boys’ soccer team. Now his friends and teachers view him differently, and his own mother thinks he should “try being a girl.” Gradually, Ash realizes that he needs to stand up for who he really is, or the cost of his silence might destroy his life.

Praise for Just Ash

★”There are few books and even fewer authors who have endeavored to give readers a real glimpse into the life of an intersex teen, which is just one reason Santana’s debut is so unique. . . . Santana—who is intersex herself—has written a smart and deeply introspective main character with whom readers will easily sympathize.”—starred, Booklist

“[T]his title offers frank education about intersex people and representation for an underrepresented group. Harrowing but hopeful.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An empowering, recommended story about Ash’s fight to define himself on his own terms.”—School Library Journal

“A page-turning, harrowing, but ultimately empowering tour-de-force…a must read for all humans.”—I. W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above and This is My Brain in Love

Teacher Resources

Find the discussion guide for this title on the Lerner website.

Watch the author video on our YouTube channel

YA Novel Preview

Graphic Novels

Glorious Wrestling Alliance: Ultimate Championship Edition by Josh Hicks

Step into the ring at Glorious Wrestling Alliance, the universe’s least-professional wrestling company. Collected in colossal full color for the first time, this hilarious love letter to pro wrestling covers identity, anxiety, and leg drops.

Praise for Glorious Wrestling Alliance

“Spine-crushing fun.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This campy graphic novel is a knockout.”—School Library Journal

“A comical, affectionate take on wrestling culture, this will be especially appealing for professional wrestling fans.” – BookRiot

“Josh Hicks does a tremendous job satirizing professional wrestling in Glorious Wrestling Alliance. Every facet of pro wrestling, from art to ego to commerce, gets a shot at the title with Josh’s witty dialogue and vibrant art! A very funny and entertaining read!” —Christopher Daniels, All Elite Wrestling

“Imagine an epic wrestling match between the lust for life of Scott Pilgrim and the comic self-loathing of BoJack Horseman where we’re all winners.” —Kieron Gillen, writer of The Wicked + The Divine

Watch the author video and book trailer on our YouTube channel

Book Trailer, Graphic Novel Preview


It’s All Art!: From Drawing to Dress-Up with Sesame Street ® by Marie-Therese Miller

Art can be painting, singing, playing pretend, and more! Friends from Sesame Street help introduce readers to the many forms of art while prompts and hands-on activities inspire kids to get creative.

Spread from It’s All Art which details visual art.

Night Becomes Day: Changes in Nature by Cynthia Argentine

Whether sudden or gradual, change is a constant in our world. Author Cynthia Argentine describes transitions including acorns sprouting, deserts blooming, canyons forming, and volcanoes erupting. Explore the transformative power of nature all around us.

Praise for Night Becomes Day

“A catalyst for conversations about change.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Cynthia Argentine leads readers on a fascinating discovery of some of nature’s beautiful transformations with an eye toward Earth’s wonders.” – Tanya Konerman

Teacher Resources

Watch the author video on our YouTube channel

Nonfiction Preview

Find a glossary for science terms in this title on the Lerner website!

Animals to the Rescue!: Amazing True Stories from around the World by Sandra Markle

Did you know that rats can be heroes? So can a humpback whale! Discover incredible true stories about animals that have rescued humans and other animals in a book sure to appeal to animal lovers everywhere.

Spread from Animals to the Rescue! in which penguins so onto shore.

Praise from Animals to the Rescue!

“This prolific nonfiction writer and confessed animal lover knows how to choose stories and details that will appeal to her readers, writing clearly and engagingly. Nicely varied collection and a perennially popular subject.”—Kirkus Reviews

Who Is a Scientist? by Laura Gehl

Scientists work hard in the lab and in the field to make important discoveries. But that’s not all—they also love to dance, eat French fries, and more! Meet fourteen phenomenal and diverse scientists, including a Page Plus video of them introducing themselves.

Spread from Who Is a Scientist? in which readers meat a meteorologist.

Praise for Who Is a Scientist?

★”The photographs reflect the world’s diversity . . . Both selection of information and presentation have been thoughtfully designed to appeal to young readers. Convincing evidence that readers, too, might become scientists.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Watch the book trailer on our YouTube channel

Book Trailer

The Call to Antarctica: Exploring and Protecting Earth’s Coldest Continent by Leilani Raashida Henry

Author Leilani Raashida Henry, daughter of the first person of African descent to go to Antarctica, recounts her father’s expedition and reveals the incredible geography, biodiversity, and history of the continent.

Spread from The Call of Antarctica in which reader see Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Barkley-Grow aircraft.

Praise for The Call of Antarctica

“Antarctica is undeniably cool, and this volume makes sure we know it.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The photography and layout of this book are stunning, and the broad array of facts and stories—involving everything from penguins to the Northern Lights—is enough to entertain an armchair adventurer and science lover for days.” – YA Dude Books

Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth by Amnesty International, Angelina Jolie, and Geraldine Van Bueren

Adults are aware of their universal human rights of freedom and equality, but children often are ignorant of the rights they possess before reaching the age of majority. Enter Know Your Rights and Claim Them, written in partnership with Amnesty International, Angelina Jolie, and Geraldine Van Bueren. This book details the rights promised in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, starting with the history of child rights, and providing a clear description of the types of child rights, the young activists from around the world who fought to defend them, and how readers can stand up for their own rights.

Praise for Know Your Rights and Claim

“A well-researched, much-needed guide for the next generation of human rights advocates.”—Kirkus Reviews

Teacher Resources

Download a free poster about child rights and activism on the Lerner website.

For more announcements on the Lerner Blog click here!

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