Happy Book Birthday: New in Nonfiction, Fiction, Picture Books, Board Books, and Paperback

Happy Book Birthday Featured Image

September is bringing loads of new books from Lerner! From YA nonfiction to board books, we are releasing a variety of fantastic reads. Check out our new titles below.

New in Nonfiction

Smashing Stigma: Dismantling Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination by Connie Goldsmith

Smashing Stigma cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

Stigma is everywhere, from mistrust of unhoused people to discrimination based on weight. Having and discussing mental health challenges has been stigmatized for years until recently when high-profile actors, athletes, and professionals started to share their experiences. Where do these ideas come from and how are they perpetuated in our society?

“This accessible overview will provide much-needed validation for some and contribute to awareness for others. Helpfully catalogs serious problems and provides guidance on coping strategies.” — Kirkus Reviews

Mysterious Glowing Mammals: An Unexpected Discovery Sparks a Scientific Investigation by Maria Parrott-Ryan

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Mysterious Glowing Mammals cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8

Late one night, ecologist Jonathan Martin was searching for tree frogs in his Wisconsin backyard when he made an unexpected discovery. As he shined an ultraviolet flashlight in the direction of a high-pitched chirp, Martin saw a flash of bright pink at his bird feeder. That pink glow was coming from a flying squirrel. What was going on?

You’re probably familiar with some kinds of glowing animals. Fireflies light up summer nights. Bioluminescent jellyfish and other sea creatures fill our oceans. But some animals glow only under ultraviolet light. This is called biofluorescence. That flying squirrel Martin found turned out to be one of the first-ever recorded sightings of a biofluorescent mammal.

Follow along with Martin and his colleagues as they delve into the mystery of the flying squirrels and discover that they aren’t the only glowing mammals out there!

“Stellar storytelling sure to make a citizen scientist out of any curious reader.” — Booklist

Nature Is a Sculptor: Weathering and Erosion by Heather Ferranti Kinser

Nature is a Sculptor cover
  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3

Glaciers, rivers, wind, and rain are a few of the elements that shape the landscape in powerful ways.

They form features big and small—from grand canyons and enormous caves to smooth pebbles and fine grains of sand. Lyrical verse by Heather Ferranti Kinser introduces weathering, erosion, and deposition, and eye-catching photos provide a look at some of the world’s geological marvels.

“Combining stunning stock photographs with rhythmic, poetic lines, Kinser has created a work that will have readers and listeners eager to travel to national parks and protected areas around the world . . . An impressive STEM read-aloud.” — Kirkus Reviews

New in Fiction

A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby

A Pocketful of Stars cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 5 – Grade 8

Safiya and her mother have never seen eye to eye.

Her mother doesn’t understand Safiya’s love of gaming, and shy Safiya doesn’t think she has anything in common with her vibrant, sometimes volatile mother. But when her mother falls into a coma, Safiya’s whole world shifts. She finds herself dreaming about an unfamiliar setting and a rebellious girl who’s distinctly familiar.

Gradually she realizes that she’s experiencing her mother’s memories of her childhood in Kuwait. As Safiya unlocks these memories the way she would unlock levels in a game, she finds a path to accepting loss and embracing who she is—someone not so different from her mother after all.

“Bushby writes with nuance and skill about a mother-daughter relationship fraught with misunderstanding, and Safiya’s eventual realizations are equal parts uplifting and heartbreaking. A poignantly written novel that is hard to put down and even harder to forget.” — starred, Kirkus Reviews

Gallows Hill by Lois Ruby

Gallows Hill cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12

Salem, Massachusetts – 1692

Thomas is marked as an outcast the moment he steps off the ship from England. As a Quaker, he’s outnumbered and distrusted by Salem’s Puritans. And as an orphan without any useful skills, he has nowhere to live and no way to earn his keep.

Patience has tried all her life to be a good Puritan—obedient to God and to her elders—and all her life, she has come up short. But her orderly world is upended when her younger sister, Abigail, falls victim to a mysterious affliction. The same torments have stricken other Salem girls, who claim they’re being bewitched by servants of the Devil.

As the community becomes consumed by suspicion and fear, Thomas and Patience search for the truth. To protect those they care about, they will have to question everything they think they know: their faiths, their loyalties, and their places in Salem.

“Effective historical fiction revisiting a fascinating and complicated time in American history.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Through the eyes of her flawed but persevering fictional characters, Lois Ruby paints a vivid picture of prejudice, suspicion, and the cruelty that results from them.” — Mary Downing Hahn, author of What We Saw

Night and Dana by Anya Davidson

* Will be published 9/12/23

Night and Dana cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

A creative coming-of-age story for the climate-change generation

Dana Drucker fights boredom in her Florida beach town by crafting special-effects makeup—the more gruesome, the better. But when a messy prank with Dana’s best friend Lily gets the wrong kind of attention, the girls have two choices: find a new creative outlet or leave high school without graduating.

To save their shot at diplomas, Dana and Lily join a community college film class. It gives Dana a chance to keep practicing her monster makeup, as she and Lily start work on a horror movie inspired by local ocean warming. And a search for filming locations puts Dana in the path of Daphne Ocean, an activist and self-proclaimed water witch—the perfect kind of inspiring outsider. But when filming starts, Dana finds herself growing apart from Lily, who doesn’t seem to need her closest friend much anymore.

Soon, tempers are flaring, and Dana’s pushing away old friends and her new mentor. But as everything starts going up in flames, Dana also begins to forge her voice. Night and Dana is a creative coming-of-age story for the climate-change era, a graphic novel about making art and growing up when it feels like the world is on fire.

“In a retro style reminiscent of Archie comics, Davidson. . . fashions characters who are convincingly relatable.” —Publishers Weekly

New in Picture Books

Zhen Yu and the Snake by Erica Lyons, illustrated by Renia Metallinou

Zhen Yu and the Snake cover
  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2

In long ago China, a girl named Zhen Yu wanders away from her father at a busy market. A mysterious fortune teller helps Zhen Yu’s father find her, but also warns him that one day his daughter will be bitten by a snake on her wedding night. Years later, as Zhen Yu is dressing for her wedding, a knock comes on the door. Although it is her wedding day, she is not too busy to show kindness to a stranger. She opens the door, sticking her hairpin into the silk wall, unknowingly killing the lurking snake that the fortune teller had foretold. “It was the mitzvah of giving to the poor that kept you safe,” says her father. Based on the Talmudic tale of Rabbi Akiva’s daughter and a snake.

“A novel take on a traditional tale.”―Kirkus Reviews

The Promise by Fawzia Gilani and Bridget Hodder, illustrated by Cinzia Battistel

The Promise cover
  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2

A garden is a prayer. It is also a promise. In a Moroccan village, a Jewish boy and a Muslim boy are best friends. Jacob and Hassan play together every day in the cool shade of Jacob’s family garden. They take care of the garden together, watching the roses and the orange trees grow tall. When news of terrible things happening to Jews in Europe reaches their little village, Jacob’s family must leave Morocco. Hassan promises to care for their beloved garden. “While the garden lives, our friendship will never die,” Jacob says. Years pass until, one day, the prayer of the garden is answered. Inspired by a true story.

“Tender and heart-rending.” ― Kirkus Reviews

“A welcome and unique story about Sephardic Jews that deserves a place on every library shelf.”―Association of Jewish Libraries

My Friend Julia: A Sesame Street ® Book about Autism by Jennifer Cook

My Friend Julia cover
  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2

Meet Julia! Julia is an autistic girl who loves art and her family. Join Elmo, Abby, and the rest of the Sesame Street crew as they introduce Julia and all the things that make her special.

Piece by Piece: Ernestine’s Gift for President Roosevelt by Lupe Ruiz-Flores, illustrated by Anna López Real

Piece by Piece cover
  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3

During the Great Depression, Ernestine Guerrero’s family didn’t have much.

The Mexican American teen was so grateful for the government food aid they received in San Antonio, Texas, that she wanted to personally thank President Roosevelt. But how? After seeing the plans for a very difficult woodworking project, she decided she would make it herself and send it to the president. Piece by piece, that’s exactly what she did. And the clock case she built remains on display in the Roosevelt Presidential Library to this day.

With stunning illustrations from Anna López Real, this picture book tells the inspiring true story of a girl who proved that if you look closely, treasure can be found in unexpected places.

The Knight of Little Import by Hannah Batsel

The Knight of Little Import cover
  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3

Poor Charlie is a young knight who can’t find a single beast to slay. If only the town of Little Import weren’t so quiet. Hark! What is that? It’s Mr. Galette, and he has a problem in his bakery. Clever Charlie realizes at once that a monster is the culprit: the triple-tier hungerbeak! So begins an epic quest to capture monsters throughout town and find a safe place for them to live . . . in the world’s very first monster sanctuary!

“Tongue-in-cheek and not at all of little import.” — Kirkus Reviews

Dino-Hanukkah by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Barry Gott

From the Series Dino-Holidays

Dino-Hanukkah cover
  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3

Hanukkah is coming, and the dinos are all busy getting ready!

They make brisket and latkes, and the dino-kids play with a dreidel, act out the Hanukkah story, open gifts, and eagerly await their turn to light the menorah.

Dinosaurs big and small gather to decorate, eat, and even compete in party festivities like only prehistoric carnivores and herbivores would. Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott—creators of the enormously popular Dino-Sports picture books—team up to create celebrations of epic proportions!

“The vivid digital illustrations depict wonderfully energetic, expressive cartoonish dinos bursting with lively good cheer. A high-spirited holiday charmer.” — Kirkus Review

New in Board Books

My First Dino-Christmas by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Barry Gott

From the Series Dino Board Books

My First Dino-Christmas cover
  • Interest Level: Preschool

Here comes Santa Claws! Get ready to celebrate the holidays . . . dino-style.

Rhyming text and vivid illustrations show dinosaurs decorating cookies, playing in the snow, dreaming of presents, and more!

There’s tons of dino-fun for everyone in this high-energy board book series. Dinosaurs face off on the field, battle on the court, and rally in the rink, then gather together to celebrate their favorite holidays!

New in Paperback

How to Live on the Edge by Sarah Lynn Scheerger

How to Live on the Edge cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

Eighteen-year-old Cayenne barely remembers her mother, who died of breast cancer when Cayenne was four. The women in her family have a history of dying young. Cayenne figures she’ll meet the same fate, so she might as well enjoy life now, engaging in death-defying risks like dodging trains and jumping off cliffs with her boyfriend.

When Cayenne receives a series of video messages her mother made for her before dying, she isn’t sure she wants them. Her aunt Tee has been her true mother figure. But then Aunt Tee tests positive for a BRCA gene mutation—the one that doomed Cayenne’s mom—and decides to get a mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing cancer. As Cayenne helps her aunt prepare for the surgery, she finds herself drawn to her mother’s messages, with their musings on life, love, and perseverance. For the first time, Cayenne starts to question what it truly means to live life to the fullest, even when death might be written into her DNA.

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

“Burgeoning with questions like Can we love after we’ve lost? and Can we fight fate?, this powerful story answers yes!”—NoNieqa Ramos, author of The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary and The Truth Is

Find more Lerner new releases here.

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