Happy Book Birthday: New Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Young Adult, and Nonfiction

Check out March new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture Books

Finding Family: The Duckling Raised by Loons by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

Finding Family front cover

Discover the true story of an orphaned mallard duckling being raised by a pair of loons. On a lake in northern Wisconsin in 2019, loon researchers were surprised to discover a mother and father loon caring for a mallard duckling. Normally loons and mallards live very different lives and do not get along. Follow along as the duckling grows and displays a mix of both loon behaviors and mallard behaviors. Intriguing verse and striking illustrations combine in this heartwarming tale of unexpected animal cooperation.

Finding Family Spread

Praise for Finding Family

“Engaging natural science for the very young.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An entertaining and informative story that will find a home in many collections.”—School Library Journal

Never Give Up: Dr. Kati Karikó and the Race for the Future of Vaccines by Debbie Dadey and illustrated by Juliana Oakley

Never Give Up front Cover

Meet Hungarian American biochemist Katalin “Kati” Kariko. She became fascinated by science as a child and grew up determined to find a way to use messenger RNA—a copy of a part of DNA that provides cells with instructions to make proteins—to help fight illness. An mRNA vaccine had never been made before, and she faced frequent criticism and was told by other scientists she would never succeed. Kariko refused to give up her research, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she played a critical role in developing the successful Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine faster than any other vaccine in history.

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Praise for Never Give Up

★”Bright, beautiful illustrations are rendered in pencil and finished digitally. . . . Informative as well as inspiring, this book shows how Karikó’s tenacity is proof to never give up. A first purchase for all biography collections.”—starred, School Library Journal

“An engaging look at scientific dedication and the timely development of effective vaccines.”—Kirkus Reviews

Graphic Novels

The Green Girls by Loïc Nicoloff  illustrated by Antoine Losty, Roberta Pierpaoli, and Alberto Zanon

The Green Girls front cover

Emma, Lily, and Fadila want to save the planet . . . but no one around them seems to care. Frustrated, they name themselves the Green Girls, take to social media, and launch a series of bold protests. Alongside their classmate and aspiring Green Girl Silas, the crew risks getting in trouble (and stirs some up) to raise awareness about container ship pollution, palm oil overproduction, and more environmental hazards. With a mix of livestreams, spray paint, and bungee cords, they’re out to make a difference—and get their followers to do the same.

The Green Girls interior spread
Praise for The Green Girls

“Readers will be drawn in by bright, approachable illustrations and stay for the determination of these young eco-warriors.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[W]ill help to raise readers’ awareness about how these forms of pollution are truly worldwide issues and not just American problems. The artwork is eye-catching and colorful and brings even more energy to this already exciting story. For readers looking for stories ripped from the headlines or anyone who cares about saving the Earth.”—School Library Journal

The Search for Slimy Stone by Artur Laperla

The Search for Slimy Stone front cover

Felix and Calcite are on a journey to a muddy swamp in the faraway Land of the Ogres. Their mission: to find the Slimy Stone, the only thing that can save the ancient Master Troll from illness! Will our heroes be able to find the rare stone and get past the ogres inside the swamp?

The Search for Slimy Stone interior spread

Young Adult Fiction

The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent by Ann Jacobus

The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent front cover

Eighteen-year-old Del is in a healthier place than she was a year and a half ago: She’s sober, getting treatment for her depression and anxiety, and volunteering at a suicide-prevention hotline. Her own suicide attempt is in the past, and living in San Francisco with her beloved aunt has helped her see a future for herself. But when Aunt Fran is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Del’s equilibrium is shattered. As she struggles to care for her aunt and prepare herself for the inevitable, Del must confront her own demons and rethink everything she thought she knew about life and death.

Praise for The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent

“Honestly and courageously explores sensitive topics.”—Kirkus Reviews

With intensely emotional and honest prose, Jacobus (Romancing the Dark in the City of Light) conveys Del’s inner turmoil and longing for relief from the constant pain and fear of death she believes haunt her life. . . . supportive health coordinators and mentors help Del confront her fears and find a new appreciation for life in this hopeful read.”—Publishers Weekly


Hidden Creature Features by Jane Park

Hidden Creature Features front cover

Animals have a variety of adaptations to help them survive. Traits such as bright colors can help deter predators. But some adaptations are harder to spot at first glance. A penguin’s bill hides a textured tongue to help it catch fish. A platypus fends off predators with a venomous spur. A red-eyed tree frog has a special gold membrane that covers its eyes and lets it watch for predators while it sleeps. Colorful photos and rhyming text introduce readers to eight creatures with hidden features.

Hidden Creature Features interior spread

Praise for Hidden Creature Features

★”High marks for presentation and showy cast alike.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“[G]ood choice for primary science units emphasizing diversity in the animal world.”—Booklist

The Big Backyard: The Solar System beyond Pluto by Ron Miller

The Big Backyard front cover

Astronomers have been making exciting discoveries on the outermost fringes of our solar system. Pluto, long thought to be geologically dead, may be home to a life-sustaining underground ocean. Beyond Pluto are the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, home to hundreds of thousands of icy bodies and more than a trillion comets. Science author and illustrator Ron Miller explores these far-flung areas in The Big Backyard. These regions hold materials left over from the formation of the solar system, and with new photos from the New Horizon spacecraft, astronomers can gain new insights into the origins of the sun and the planets.

Praise for The Big Backyard

“The text is engaging, occasionally alluding to science fiction works and popular conspiracy theories, and uses accessible examples . . . This inviting offering will be welcomed by student researchers and space nerds alike.”—Booklist

“This inviting work is perspective adjusting, particularly for readers who haven’t imagined much beyond a star, a handful of planets, and a few extra rocks. Tantalizingly introduces readers to far-flung scientific wonders.”—Kirkus Reviews

Nearer My Freedom: The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano by Himself by Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge

Nearer My Freedom front cover

Explore Olaudah Equiano’s life story—his childhood in Africa, enslavement, liberation, and life as a free man—through “found verse,” a creative approach to primary source analysis. The authors selected excerpts from Equiano’s autobiography to create the poetic retelling, adding annotations to deepen understanding.

Praise for Nearer My Freedom

★”In this unique work of nonfiction, Edinger and Younge transform the words of Olaudah Equiano’s 1789 autobiographical slavery narrative into found-verse poetry. . . . [An] absorbing, singular creation.”—starred, Booklist

★”Highly readable as well as informative. An excellent way to understand a remarkable individual and his times.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

★”Without losing the source text’s emotional heft, Edinger and Younge’s visceral poems respectfully provide an effective entry point into the seminal work.”—starred, Publishers Weekly

“This moving found-verse adaptation of the formerly enslaved Equiano’s 1789 memoir makes a seminal work of history accessible to young readers.”—New York Times Book Review

Find more announcements on the Lerner blog here!

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