The Great Escape (Goat) and Other Adventures in Reading for the Young and Young at Heart

With mobility limited these days, books are a great way to get away. Whether that’s to a farm or a community kitchen, a spooky school or secret lab. And speaking of getting away, this month’s batch of hand-picked recommendations includes Escape Goat — the new picture book by Ann Patchett and Robin Preiss Glasser! Whatever your preferred literary destination, we’ve got something for you. So take a look and find your next great read to share or run off with!

Recommended by Everyone

Escape Goat Cover ImageEscape Goat

The Farmer family farm is a hectic place where things are blamed on the goat, until everyone takes responsibility for their mistakes. This fun picture book written by our own Ann Patchett and illustrated by the fabulous Robin Preiss Glasser makes a great read-aloud and you can search the pages for our shop dog pal, Sparky.

Recommended by Rae Ann

Lights on Wonder Rock Cover ImageLights on Wonder Rock

A girl dreams of a UFO landing in her yard, and then it does! She waits for the day when it will return, trying to make contact with her friend from space. Detailed illustrations make this delightful story even more fun.

Recommended by Rae Ann

The Barnabus Project Cover ImageThe Barnabus Project

Barnabus is part mouse, part elephant, so he doesn’t get the Perfect Pet stamp of approval in the secret lab. One day he and his friends decide to make an escape. A delightful read-aloud with wonderful illustrations.

Recommended by Rae Ann

If You Come to Earth Cover ImageIf You Come to Earth

This stunning picture book begins “Dear Visitor from Outer Space.” It is a delightful look at earth and its inhabitants highlighting our activities, music, and the places we live.

Recommended by Karen

When You Breathe Cover ImageWhen You Breathe

What happens when we breathe? This book, in lush language by physician and poet Diana Farid explains it, and the collages by Billy Renkl illustrate it in such a beautiful way. We have a limited number of frameable signed prints from Billy Renkl that will come with purchase.

Recommended by Becca

Way Past Worried Cover ImageWay Past Worried

As the world changes, the one thing that becomes more and more apparent is that we need to be teaching kids to identify and address overwhelming feelings. This book provides an opportunity to work on mindfulness techniques with the whole family, and to normalize talking through confusing emotions as they come up. Read it out loud, take a few deep breaths together, and see if you don’t feel a little bit better by the time you’re done.

Recommended by Ginger

Nothing in Common Cover ImageNothing in Common

This is such a beautiful, quiet picture book. I wish I had this book when my kids were little. It was the perfect story book for a rainy day.

Recommended by Chelsea

The Wanderer Cover ImageThe Wanderer

This wordless picture book shows the story of a lone paper boat on a strange and wonderful journey. The images are stunning, full of texture and life. I enjoyed spending time pouring over each page, finding hidden delights at the bottom of the sea to the top of the sky.

Recommended by Becca

Our Little Kitchen Cover ImageOur Little Kitchen

A group of neighbors comes together to prepare a family-style meal in their community kitchen. Jillian Tamaki’s illustrations perfectly capture the feeling of people from all different backgrounds working to take care of one another. The book is beautiful, the illustrations are jam-packed with detail, and the story will leave you craving the connection that comes from sharing your time and energy with the people around you.

Recommended by Sarah

Just a Story Cover ImageJust a Story

This bright and engaging book is about the power of stories. What starts as a trip to the library can turn into a quest with treasure hunting pirates, a scooter ride with elephants, or an encounter with a big baby dragon! A good book can take you anywhere.

Recommended by Shop Dog Marlee

Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog Cover ImageMadeline Finn and the Therapy Dog

This book tells you all about becoming a therapy dog and all the cool places you get to go and the people you meet and the ones that give you pets and the ones you work real hard to make friends with and I just loved it and I am going to be a real therapy dog very soon and I would love to come and read with you!

Recommended by Shop Dogs Opie and Charles

What's Up, Fire Truck? (A Pop Magic Book) Cover ImageWhat’s Up, Fire Truck? (A Pop Magic Book)

This book folds into a 3-D fire truck and there’s a dog. What more needs to be said!

Recommended by Heather

Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) Cover ImageSkunk and Badger

I was a bit sorry to realize that I am a Badger, and relate well to rock collecting and order and control. But Skunk, in spite of his distractions, brings a lot of positives to the house. This is a great tale of the importance of understanding and sharing — for all ages.

Recommended by Kay

Séance Tea Party Cover ImageSéance Tea Party

Séance Tea Party is a great October graphic novel read about a spooky girl who befriends the ghost living in her attic. Full of fun Halloween touches, this is a story about growing up at your own pace and not being afraid to move forward. Magical and warm from beginning to end.

Recommended by Gavin, Age 9

Dog Man: Grime and Punishment: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #9) Cover ImageDog Man: Grime and Punishment

Great story! Teaches you that you should love more in your life than hate.

Recommended by Kay

The Summer of Everything Cover ImageThe Summer of Everything

What’s better than a sweet and funny summer love story full of yearning and self discovery? One that features an indie bookstore! Wes has one summer to confess his feelings for his best friend, pick a college major, and save his beloved local bookstore. With a cast of lovable booksellers and so much heart it’s practically bursting off the page, this book is the perfect way to bring a little more sunshine into your year.

Recommended by Kay

Grown Cover ImageGrown

This will not be an easy book for some teenagers to read, but it is very much necessary. Through the story of Enchanted Jones, a teenage singer caught up in a predatory relationship with a much older celebrity, Jackson examines the harsh consequences young people often find at the intersection of love, admiration, and power with both sharp insight and deep compassion. The story is expertly paced and full of stunning lines and unforgettable scenes. I read the whole thing in one sitting because I could not look away.

Recommended by Chelsea

Watch Over Me Cover ImageWatch Over Me

Mila has graduated out of the foster care system and accepted a teaching job on a remote farm. When she arrives, she is greeted by her new students, the couple who runs the farm, and ghosts. Mila must confront the trauma of her past if she is going to accept both the ghosts and her new setting. LaCour writes emotions, loneliness, and loss with an adept hand. Readers will be immediately drawn into Mila and the relationships she cultivates as she heals.

Recommended by Kay

Legendborn Cover ImageLegendborn

When Bree enrolls in an early college program at UNC Chapel Hill, she has no way of knowing she’s about to be swept into a world of secret societies, Arthurian knights, and invisible monsters. Somehow this secret order appears connected to her mother’s recent death, and Bree will risk everything to find out how. What unfolds is a story of grief, legacy, and love with powerful writing that captures every emotion beautifully.

Spark Book Club: October Selection

No Ordinary Thing Cover ImageNo Ordinary Thing

The Spark Book Club selection for October is No Ordinary Thing by G. Z. Schmidt. Adam lives with his uncle above their Biscuit Basket bakery. One day a stranger arrives with a snow globe, sending Adam on a time travel adventure. Can the past be changed? And if so, should it?

Early sparks for the novel:

“A magical New York journey through time and the grieving process.” —Kirkus

“Resolving mysteries and featuring glimpses into its hero’s future, No Ordinary Thing is no ordinary time travel story; it contains timeless lessons on friendship, bravery, and letting go.” —Foreword Reviews

Spark Book Club is the first editions club for middle grade readers. Every month members will receive a first edition middle grade novel — plus a letter written by the author especially for club members. Makes a great gift for the independent reader! Sign ups are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

ParnassusNext October Selection

Everything I Thought I Knew Cover ImageEverything I Thought I Knew

The October ParnassusNext selection is Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka. This is a page-turning debut novel about a girl whose senior year of high school is derailed due to a heart transplant. She must go to summer school with a new heart and new memories that may not belong to her.

Join us for a Facebook Live event with Shannon Takaoka on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6pm!

Early buzz for the novel:

“Romance and quantum physics intertwine in this frothy introduction to multiverse Sci Fi.” —Kirkus

“The thoughtful balance of self-discovery, humor, and realistic relationships will bring in fans of John Green and Nicola Yoon. Readers looking for a good, cathartic cry will love Chloe’s journey from losing everything she thought she was, to finding the person she was meant to be.” —School Library Journal

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.