by Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist

Check out September new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture Books

Big Bear and Little Fish by Sandra Nickel and illustrated by Il Sung Na

At the carnival, Bear wants a teddy bear. And not just any teddy bear—she wants the biggest one of all. But instead she gets a fish. A very small fish. Bear is so very big and Fish is so very small that Bear worries they have nothing in common. Can they possibly be friends? Gentle, accessible prose by Sandra Nickel is paired with richly textured illustrations by Il Sung Na in this sweet story of unexpected friendship.

Praise for Big Bear and Little Fish

“The expressive, stylized art makes excellent use of color, and, like the well-worded narrative, it contrasts the small but confident fish with the large yet tentative bear . . . Fun for reading aloud.”— Booklist

“A delightful tale of unexpected friendship.”—Kirkus Reviews

Board Books

My First Dino-Basketball by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott

Slam dunk! Beat the buzzer with this energetic title for young basketball fans. Playful rhyming text highlights basketball basics and bright illustrations bring the game to life in this fun-filled board book.

My First Dino-Football by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott

Touchdown! Dinosaurs bring football fun to the littlest fans. As two dino-teams face off, readers are introduced to key elements of the game in this delightful board book.

My First Dino-Hockey by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott

Goal! Lace up your skates and hit the ice with the dinos and your littlest hockey fans. Then follow the action as two dinosaur hockey teams face off in this fast-paced board book!

Praise for My First Dino-Hockey

“A great fit for dino fans and future sports fans.”—Kirkus Reviews

New in Paperback

Top Prospect by Paul Volponi

Travis, a pre-teen quarterback with big potential, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when Gainesville University’s football coach offers him a scholarship before he’s even in high school. Can he handle his newfound celebrity status?

Praise for Top Prospect

“Travis’ love for the game . . . seems absolutely authentic. This engaging read will resonate with middle schoolers, especially aspiring athletes.”—Booklist

“With an astute sense of his audience, Volponi in the end returns readers to the love of the game that should be the heart of any athlete who wants to succeed in playing at the highest level. Absorbing . . . .”—Kirkus Reviews

“Purchase where there is a high interest in football and where books for reluctant readers are needed.”—School Library Journal

Graphic Novels

Unretouchable by Sofia Szamosi

Coming 9/13! – Olive is spending the summer before college helping a fashion-industry imaging specialist—and pondering the impact of image retouching software used behind the scenes. Unretouchable is a window into a hugely influential world of fashion photography and a tribute to self-acceptance.

Praise for Unretouchable

“Olive’s journey to seeking balance on the social Internet is important. The black-and-white drawings contrast well with Szamosi’s plot that grapples with the gray areas of contemporary life.”—Booklist

“This tale pairs bold, blocky, black-and-white art with text sharing Olive’s deeply introspective musings. . . . An appealing look at important issues . . .”—Kirkus Reviews

“Szamosi employs witty narration and stark b&w ink to deliver a sincere, offbeat cautionary graphic novel of social media’s pitfalls, including its effect on mental health and body image.” –Publishers Weekly

“Sofia has a magical eye and voice. Her ability to take something classic and turn it on its head is something I had never seen before her work.” —Emily Meade, actor, Dead RingersThe Leftovers, and The Deuce

Middle Grade

Hear Me by Kerry O’Malley Cerra

After being diagnosed with progressive hearing loss, Rayne resists her parents’ efforts to “fix” her and rethinks her own assumptions about what her condition means for her.

Praise for Hear Me

“This empathetic, appealing story highlights Rayne’s journey to self-acceptance while also exploring her complicated but loving family relationships, loyal friendships, and a little romance. Discussion questions wrap everything up.” —Booklist

Hear Me is a brave and important book. Rayne’s story will open hearts and minds, and give young readers courage and hope.”—Jarrett Lerner, author of the EngiNerds

Hear Me is a thoughtful and empowering story about standing up and speaking out even when no one will listen. I’ll be thinking about Rayne long after closing the book.”—Lynne Kelly, author of Song for a Whale

Young Adult

Funeral Girl by Emma K. Ohland

When Georgia revives the spirit of a recently deceased classmate at her family’s funeral home, she’s forced to sort out her complex feelings about grief and mortality.

Praise for Funeral Girl

“[G]ive Ohland’s first novel high marks for its unusual premise and vivid characterization of its imperfect protagonist.” — Booklist

“Touched by the supernatural, this debut grapples with grief and mental health, exploring the differing ways people cope with emotions, how the living memorialize the dead, and who is entitled to mourn them. . . . the narrative handles the heavy topic of death with honest complexity.”—Kirkus Reviews

Funeral Girl is a touching debut about ghosts, grief, and the relationships we have with people both living and dead.”—Nita Tyndall, author of Who I Was with Her


A River’s Gifts: The Mighty Elwha River Reborn by Patricia Newman and illustrated by Natasha Donovan

There’s more to a river than meets the eye. The story of the Elwha River in Washington State is one of both environmental harm and restoration involving advocacy, persistence, cooperation, and hope.

Praise for A River’s Gifts

★”Effectively using a compelling story to illustrate the concept of rewilding, this informative, striking presentation is powerful in its hopeful story that integrates history, environmental appreciation, and explanations of the interdependence of species in a landscape and the politics necessary to save them.”—starred, Booklist

★”Beautifully illustrated and informative.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Let’s Talk about It!: A Sesame Street ® Guide to Resolving Conflict by Marie-Therese Miller

Everyone experiences conflict, even on Sesame Street! This guide comes with simple steps to help readers become kind and independent problem solvers.

On a Gold-Blooming Day: Finding Fall Treasures by Buffy Silverman

As autumn begins, plants and animals in nature begin to change in all kinds of ways to prepare for winter. Brilliant photos and rhyming text highlight these changes and celebrate fall’s arrival!

Praise for On a Gold-Blooming Day

“A good read-aloud choice for preschool and early primary classes noting seasonal touchstones.”—Booklist

“Sun-dazzling!”—Kirkus Reviews

Secrets of the Lost City: A Scientific Adventure in the Honduran Rain Forest by Sandra Markle

Join a real-life, scientific adventure to a remote Honduran rainforest where an ancient city once stood. Learn how scientists located the ruins likely unvisited by humans for 500 years and documented animals—even some believed to be endangered or extinct—flourishing free from human influence.

Praise for Secrets of the Lost City

“Markle provides clear explanations of the lidar mapping process, the camera traps, and the systematic exploration of the conservation team as well as a smoothly flowing story that carries readers along on these adventures. . . . An inviting introduction to an amazing place.”—Kirkus Reviews

Don’t Sit On the Baby!, 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Sane, Skilled, and Safe Babysitting by Halley Bondy

Babysitting is a popular jobs for teens, but caring for kids is not easy. This funny, updated guide covers the basics—from how to find jobs and negotiate pay rates to how to entertain your charges and handle behavioral challenges.

Praise for Don’t Sit on the Baby, 2nd Edition

“With sensible and practical suggestions for a wide variety of situations, this is a welcome update.”—Kirkus Reviews

More than Stress: Understanding Anxiety Disorders by Bruce M. Hyman, PhD, Tabitha Moriarty, and Cherry Pedrick, RN

Roughly one in three teens in the US will experience an anxiety disorder—anxiety that is excessive and interferes with daily life. This timely, informative, and helpful book covers the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of such disorders as well as coping strategies and treatments.

Praise for More than Stress

“Teens will find this brief yet wide-ranging and accessible book helpful.”—Booklist

“[A]n inviting, accessible, and informative volume about a critical subject.”—Kirkus Reviews

Not Just about Food: Understanding Eating Disorders by Tabitha Moriarty and Carol Sonenklar

While many think of eating disorders as an individual’s relationship to food, there are complex causes, including genetics, brain chemistry, and life experiences. Learn about the symptoms and diagnosis of eating disorders, which affect thirty million people in the US, many of them young people.

Praise for Not Just about Food

“An up-to-date introduction to eating disorders.”—Kirkus Reviews

Teen Innovators: Nine Young People Engineering a Better World with Creative Inventions by Fred Estes

Celebrate the determination and ingenuity of young inventors. Through profiles that explore the challenges, motivations, and lives of these teen visionaries, readers will see how the science they study today in school relates to these important discoveries.

Praise for Teen Innovators

“The rich variety of individuals and projects highlighted will encourage budding scientists. A compelling read for teens interested in the STEM fields and an inspirational resource for science classrooms.”—Kirkus Reviews

“While all faced challenges, these teens forged ahead toward their visions with creative confidence. Design thinking and other creative problem-solving skills may help you, too, unleash your own inspiration. Fred’s book does a great job of getting you started on your journey.” –David Kelley, founder of Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford and IDEO, co-author of Creative Confidence

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