A Perfect 10: Books for the Young and Young at Heart

Nashville public schools are back in session this week, but that’s no reason to stop reading what you want (as long as you get your homework finished first). No homework? Even better! Whether you’re back in class this week or just looking for the right book to curl up with, we’ve picked out 10 perfect reads for the young, young adult, and young-at-heart. Take a look!

And don’t miss the kid-friendly events listed at the end of this post!

Recommended by Ella

Skulls! Cover ImageSkulls!

Who doesn’t love skulls? I love this fun, informational book about arguably the best part of your body. Read it for science, love, and great illustrations!

Recommended by Rae Ann

Buddy and Earl Go to School Cover ImageBuddy and Earl Go to School

Buddy and Earl are excited to gather their school supplies and learn in my favorite Back to School picture book. A funny read-aloud!

Recommended by Kay

Truman Cover ImageTruman

This charming story of a turtle and his girl teaches us to be brave in the face of new adventures, as Truman sets out on the biggest little adventure a loyal turtle can face.

Recommended by Ella

Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy Cover ImageSleepy, the Goodnight Buddy

A great read about a boy who’s new sleeping buddy is not the best at sleeping. If you liked Hug Machine or Sir Simon, this book is for you!

Recommended by Niki

Contrary Dogs Cover ImageContrary Dogs

Tired of reading the same old boring board books to baby every night? LOOK NO FURTHER. Contrary Dogs is a true delight — sparse but humorous text, gorgeously graphic illustrations, and interactive opportunities on every page.

Recommended by Ella

Albert’s Quiet Quest

I loved this book for its beautiful illustrations and quaint story about a boy who just wants some peace and quiet. This is a really peaceful, calming read!

Recommended by Rae Ann

Music for Mister Moon Cover ImageMusic for Mister Moon

A young musician finds friendship and community in this delightful picture book.

Recommended by Steve

The Twelve Cover ImageThe Twelve

The heroes in this book are a group of kids, each of whom has a special power related to one of the signs of the Chinese zodiac (hence the “twelve”). This fast-paced adventure has a fun premise, a magical backdrop, and a lot of heart.

Recommended by Kay

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) Cover ImageSpin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1)

The story begins with a girl secretly competing for the (male only) title of Imperial Tailor to prove her skills and save her family from poverty. By the end, this tale of love and artistry had grown into something far more magical and adventurous than I ever expected. The sequel can’t come soon enough!

Recommended by Keltie

Dreamland (YA edition): The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic Cover ImageDreamland (YA edition): The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Smartly adapted and updated for the generation whom this epidemic may affect the most. If you’ve seen the devastating effects of opioid addiction in your life or the lives of those around you, if you’ve lost a friend, or know someone who has lost a friend, or if you just want to understand how this tidal wave happened: Read this now. It’s important.

ParnassusNext — Our August Selection

Our August ParnassusNext selection, Stacey Lee’s The Downstairs Girl, is a marvelous story of history, family, and carving out your own path in the world. One of this summer’s most critically lauded novels, it’s perfect for readers who love Ruta Sepetys, Jennifer Donnelly, and Monica Hesse. Check out some of the early buzz below:

“A triumph of storytelling. The Downstairs Girl is a bold portrait of this country’s past, brilliantly painted with wit, heartbreak, and unflinching honesty. Everyone needs to read this book” —Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

“Featuring historical signposts (streetcar segregation, suffragists on safety bicycles) and memorable, well-developed characters, this captivating novel explores intersectionality, conveys the effects of restrictions placed on women and people of color, and celebrates the strengths and talents of marginalized people struggling to break society’s barriers in any age.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Downstairs Girl is a thoughtful, imaginative and surprising look at a period of American history that feels both distant and all too close. Jo is a sharp and compelling narrator, and I could’ve stayed forever in her downstairs hideout, watching the world through her eyes. Immersive, important, and thoroughly entertaining, The Downstairs Girl sparkles with all of Stacey Lee’s signature humor, charm, warmth, and wisdom.” —Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of Conviction and Picture Us in the Light

Look for an interview with author Stacey Lee, coming soon to Musing!

ParnassusNext is the book subscription box for YA lovers. Every member of ParnassusNext receives a first edition hardcover of each month’s selected book, signed by the author. There is no membership fee to join — and no line to stand in for the autograph. Not only will you have one of the best YA books of the month when it comes out, you’ll have it straight from the author’s hands, with an original, authentic signature! Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite YA reader for 3, 6, or 12 months.

We’re also excited that this week Rae Ann Parker moves into her new role as Director of Books and Events for Young Readers! Speaking of events, join us for one of these soon!

Kristin Maher, author of The Awfulizer: Learning to Overcome the Shame GameAugust 22 at 6:30

YA event with Erin A. Craig, author of House of Salt and SorrowsAugust 24 at 2pm

Weekly Storytime — Saturdays at 10:30am and Thursdays at 4pm