Llamas, Inventors, Hidden History and More: New Reads for the Young and Young at Heart

The end of the school year is looking a lot different in 2020, but one thing that’s a constant no matter what: We all need books to read! Our booksellers have once again hand-selected a great new batch of books — everything from read-alongs to YA. And if you’ve got a new little in your life, don’t miss our new baby boxes! Choose it as an option on our book bundles — perfect for ages 0-12 months!

Recommended by Rae Ann

What Do You Do If You Work at the Zoo? Cover ImageWhat Do You Do If You Work at the Zoo?

Have you ever wished you could go behind the scenes at the zoo to see what it’s like to work there? This fun book shows you what zookeepers really do — from brushing a hippo’s teeth to shining a tortoise’s shell and more.

Recommended by Rae Ann

This Way, Charlie Cover ImageThis Way, Charlie

A beautiful story about friendship, adjusting to a new normal, and finding peace where you are. Inspired by a real animal friendship.

Recommended by Jackie

The Boy and the Wild Blue Girl Cover ImageThe Boy and the Wild Blue Girl

This simple and sweet story was inspired by Poul la Cour, a Danish scientist and inventor. The boy likes the Wild Blue Girl, and thinks she means well, even though she often causes trouble. He figures he just needs to build something to show what she can do, and the result is one of the first wind turbines that generates electricity! This book would pair well with a pinwheel and a breezy spring day in the backyard.

Recommended by Chelsea

Llama Unleashes the Alpacalypse (A Llama Book #2) Cover ImageLlama Unleashes the Alpacalypse

Llama is back! Llama loves baking, and cooking and eating, but Llama hates cleaning. Llama invites over Alpaca to help clean, but why stop with just one Alpaca? Soon, there are Alpacas all over! This is hilarious and a perfect read-aloud.

Recommended by Jackie

Rescuing the Declaration of Independence: How We Almost Lost the Words That Built America Cover ImageRescuing the Declaration of Independence: How We Almost Lost the Words That Built America

I love when authors unearth new stories from history. Have you heard of Stephen Pleasonton, a State Department clerk in the early 1800s? I hadn’t, but it turns out he is responsible for saving some of our country’s most important documents during the War of 1812!

Recommended by Becca

The Magical Yet Cover ImageThe Magical Yet

If you’re feeling discouraged or maybe a little scared, allow the Magical Yet to remind you of your endless potential. With captivating illustrations and sweet (occasionally silly) rhymes, this book provides inspiration during unsure times. If you just keep trying, you’ll figure it out!

Recommended by Chelsea

Ocean! Waves for All (Our Universe #4) Cover ImageOcean! Waves for All

A beautifully illustrated picture book about the formation, history, and life within the oceans, told by Ocean himself! Informative and funny, it’s a worthy addition to the other Our Universe books.

Recommended by Ann

Peter Pan (Puffin Classics) Cover ImagePeter Pan

I had never read Peter Pan before and it truly is a work of genius. It’s freakishly insightful, tender, and genuinely scary. Oh, poor Wendy! I don’t know if I would read it to a young child but surely people have been doing just that since 1904. I loved it.

Recommended by Rae Ann

On the Horizon Cover ImageOn the Horizon

Two-time Newbery medalist Lois Lowry looks back at her childhood in Hawaii and Japan in this new book. It is a moving autobiography in verse highlighting perspectives and how lives intersect in surprising ways.

Recommended by Kay

Rick Cover ImageRick

Rick is a kid entering middle school with many questions. What do you do when your best friend turns out to be a bad person? Why is he not as girl- (or boy-) obsessed as most of his peers? And how can he open up to his family about all his questions? This story is great for kids starting to question what the LGBTQIA+ community means to different people, how they might fit into it, and how to stand up to bullying.

Recommended by Rae Ann

Baloney and Friends (Baloney & Friends #1) Cover ImageBaloney and Friends

This new graphic novel series for early readers is laugh-out-loud funny! I can’t wait for you to meet a pig named Baloney and his gaggle of friends.

Recommended by Kay

Stepping Stones (Peapod Farm #1) Cover ImageStepping Stones

Jen’s world is turned upside down when her mother moves her from New York City to a tiny farm in the country. Between missing her father, struggling with her farm chores, and butting heads with her new sort-of-stepfamily, her new life seems miserable. Yet there are exciting and beautiful things waiting to be discovered in the country, and within Jen herself, if she can just open herself up to finding them.

Recommended by Chelsea

Incendiary Cover ImageIncendiary

An epic fantasy set in a world inspired by the Spanish Inquisition, Incendiary tells the story of Renata, a girl out to avenge her lost family and country. When given her chance at vengence, Renata finds out there is more to her background than she thought. This is the perfect twisty adventure to lose yourself in!

Recommended by Kay

Felix Ever After Cover ImageFelix Ever After

Felix Ever After radiates all the complex emotions that come with being a queer teen on the uncertain edge of adulthood. Felix is an artist in desperate need of a focus for his portfolio if he hopes to get into his dream college. Yet when he’s faced with an anonymous transphobic classmate, a revenge plan gone awry, and new realizations about his identity, Felix is left stuck between his busy thoughts and a blank canvas.

Recommended by Chelsea

Dancing at the Pity Party Cover ImageDancing at the Pity Party

As a dedicated follower of Tyler’s on Instagram, I am inspired by her bravery in opening up about the loss of her mother. She has created a beautiful graphic novel memoir that emotionally and practically explores death and grief.

Recommended by Kay

Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy #1) Cover ImageWicked Saints

With book two on shelves and book one now in paperback, this is the perfect time to catch up on this brilliantly dark epic fantasy. If vengeful gods, blood magic, and monstrous love interests are your thing, this series was unapologetically written for you.

ParnassusNext — Our May Selection

Kent State Cover ImageKent State

The May ParnassusNext selection is Kent State by two-time National Book Award finalist Deborah Wiles. The National Guard was called in to confront protestors on the campus of Kent State University. Shots rang out, and four students were dead. The different voices of the participants written in free-verse tell the details of the days leading up to May 4, 1970.

Early buzz for the novel includes:

“This hard-hitting historical novel provides valuable perspective on unrest and violence, both timely and timeless.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

“A well-researched and deeply moving portrait of an iconic moment in U.S. history.” —Kirkus starred review

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.