20 New Reads for the Young and Young at Heart

Longer nights, more snug reading time — the chill in the air is worth it if you’re a bookworm! And luckily, we’ve got a whole new batch of great under-the-covers reads to get you through these less-than-balmy times. Our booksellers have hand-selected read-along picture books, fantastic tales for independent readers, epic young adult yarns and much more. Get comfortable!

Recommended by Rae Ann

The Hug Cover ImageThe Hug

A picture book about perspective. Read the turtle’s story then flip the book to read from the hedgehog’s point of view. Delightful!

Recommended by Rae Ann

Kevin the Unicorn: It's Not All Rainbows Cover ImageKevin the Unicorn: It’s Not All Rainbows

Kevin the unicorn’s life is filled with magical awesomeness. Until his day starts off on the wrong hoof. This sparkly picture book shows it’s OK to have a bad day.

Recommended by Rae Ann

Saturday Cover ImageSaturday

Saturday is the best day because Ava and her mom spend the entire day together. One special Saturday, things don’t go as planned. Caldecott honoree Oge Mora’s beautiful story paired with collage art is a delight.

Recommended by Chelsea

The Balcony Cover ImageThe Balcony

The illustrations are center stage in this wordless picture book. When the main character moves from the country to the city, she is sad to leave her plant-filled setting behind. As she grows plants on the balcony of her new apartment, she finds the plants lead to more than just a reminder of home.

Recommended by Kay

Stretchy McHandsome Cover ImageStretchy McHandsome

A wild and silly cat goes on quite the adventure, only to find a home with a wild and silly girl of his own in the end. Really, how can you not fall in love with a cat named Stretchy McHandsome?

Recommended by Chelsea

Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza! Cover ImageMama Mable’s All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza!

In the 1940s, all-female bands formed to spread musical cheer during bleak times. This book pays tribute to those bands and tells the story of Mama Mable, her all-gal band, and the joy music can bring. The illustrations are especially fantastical!

Recommended by Rae Ann

Friend or Fiction Cover ImageFriend or Fiction

What happens when an imaginary friend shows up at school? Jade writes about a new best friend in her notebook and the next day she shows up at school. When her notebook is lost, what will happen to her friend?

Recommended by Chelsea

Roll with It Cover ImageRoll with It

Ellie’s voice makes this book un-put-down-able. She is complex, refreshingly honest, and sassy. She doesn’t sugarcoat her experiences in a wheelchair or with cerebral palsy, and she isn’t defined by those experiences either. Every person needs to read this book.

Recommended by Chelsea

Dear Sweet Pea Cover ImageDear Sweet Pea

Readers who know of Murphy from her young adult books will not be disappointed with this delightful middle grade story. The themes of friendship, self-acceptance, and enduring through challenges make this a great read for all ages. I love Sweet Pea’s gumption.

Recommended by Kay

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky Cover ImageTristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

This is easily one of the most interesting fantasy adventures you’ll ever read. Where else will you find a cast of characters that includes Brer Rabbit, John Henry, Anansi, and more? Tristan Strong is the hero every kid deserves, and his adventures through the magical realm of Alke are hilarious, heartfelt, powerfully written, and bursting with action.

Recommended by Devin

Some Places More Than Others Cover ImageSome Places More Than Others

Amara gets the chance to see her father’s home in Harlem when he brings her along on his work trip. She’s tasked by her mom to help repair the argument between her father & grandfather, all while learning about the history and culture of the city that raised her family. This is a beautiful story about family and forgiveness, and it has great discussion questions in the back for book clubs!!

Recommended by Rae Ann

Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany Cover ImageGames of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany

Games of Deception is the story of basketball — how it started and made its way to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Perfect for readers of Boys in the Boat and anyone who likes a good story about sports or history.

Recommended by Chelsea

I Hope You Get This Message Cover ImageI Hope You Get This Message

Earth is a mere experiment and could be wiped out by an alien colony named Alma, or at least that’s what the world learns when it intercepts a message. Three teenagers must come to grips with their past in order to make peace with their present during the countdown to possible destruction. This fantastic what-if novel is a must-read for fans of John Green.

Recommended by Devin

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph Cover ImageThe Revolution of Birdie Randolph

During her latest grounding, Dove “Birdie” Randolph gets to know her Aunt Carlene who has recently moved in for stability after recovery for alcoholism. Birdie trusts Carlene with the secrets she can’t tell her strict mother. She longs to become bolder and show her family that she can make her decisions and handle the good or bad consequences.

Recommended by Devin

Jackpot Cover ImageJackpot

Rico lives on the edge of poverty and works at a convenience store to help make ends meet. So when someone comes in, buys a lottery ticket, and wins the jackpot but doesn’t claim it, what else can you do but enlist a friend to go on a heist to find the person and maybe get a reward for your efforts? Every story Nic Stone writes will always illuminate real issues, and they’re authentic, humorous, and full of heart.

Recommended by Kay

The Scorpio Races Cover ImageThe Scorpio Races

“Today is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die,” just might be my favorite opening line in all of YA literature, and things only get better from there. Two highly motivated protagonists compete in their island’s unique and deadly tradition of killer horse racing in a story that’s twice as beautiful as it is bloody. There’s a reason readers return to reread this book year after year.

Recommended by Ben

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (Book 1) Cover ImageHis Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (Book 1)

Growing up, this trilogy was my absolute favorite. The new HBO miniseries looks like it will (finally!) do the books justice, and it excites me that it will introduce a new generation of readers to Pullman’s thought-provoking books. They are imaginative, adventurous, expansive, as well as philosophical, political, heartbreaking. Dive into this gripping world, then watch the first season of the miniseries!

Recommended by Jordan

Sick Kids In Love Cover ImageSick Kids In Love

Fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars will laugh and cry throughout this new YA novel about two teens battling chronic illnesses who happen to fall in love at the hospital.

Recommended by Jordan

Frankly in Love Cover ImageFrankly in Love

What could possibly go wrong when two friends create a fake dating scheme to please their parents? Find out in this intersectional coming of age novel by David Yoon, the husband of beloved YA author Nicola Yoon.

ParnassusNext — Our November Selection

Our November ParnassusNext selection is The Last True Poets of the Sea by debut novelist Julia Drake. It is epic, funny, and sweepingly romantic.

Here is some early buzz for the novel:

“A warm, wise, strange meditation on developing the strength to be vulnerable.” ―Kirkus (starred review)

“Violet emerges as a genuine, sympathetic protagonist struggling to create something new from the wreckage of her life.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“At once hilarious, insightful, and swashbuckling, Drake’s debut is a lyrical adventure like no other.”
―David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland 

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.

And don’t miss these great kid-friendly events coming up!

Sunday, November 17 at 2pm: Megan Alexander, author of One More Hug

Thursday, November 21 at 6:30pm: Savannah Maddison, author of Sincerely, You: Letter-Writing to Change the World